Stuart1960's picture

2 unknown dragonflies

Observed: 20th September 2009 By: Stuart1960
2 unknown dragonflies
Description:

May I ask if these are the male and female of the same species or two separate species?

Identifications
Species interactions

No interactions present.

Comments

RoyW's picture

Feeding not mating?

After taking a closer look at the photo (on my PC screen, rather than on my phone), I can see that the female is a Common Darter not a female Black Darter.
This might explain the behaviour, which looks more like predation than an attempt at mating, although males are sometimes very clumsy in there attempt to grab a female - especially if the female resists the advances (which is likely when, like here, the female is a recently emerged individual of another species!).

The white pterostigmas (the spots near the wing tips) show that this is a fairly recently emerged female, which helps explain why she was less able to avoid the smaller male.

Identification features that can be seen if you look closely are: the lack of an obvious black underside to the abdomen; the pattern on the side of the thorax (Black Darter has a broad black band with three relatively small yellow spots within it); the lack of black extending down the side of the frons (face); and (perhaps the most obvious) the legs - which have clear yellow stripes on them (all black in Black Darter).