Thursday, June 19, 2014

Ebony Jewelwing

Ebony Jewelwing, Calopteryx maculata, is one of the broad-winged damselflies. It is a predator of mosquitoes and gnats, and so a most welcome companion for the wanderer of wooded streams and rivers in the Carolina summertime.

Similar to the dragonfly, but smaller than most and with wings folded while at rest (not held open at its sides), the damselflies themselves are preyed upon by some species of dragonfly.

On a warm summer's eve, you'll often find the male ebonywing with its ridiculously shiny iridescent bluish-green body and ebony wings, flitting among the stream-side shrubs seeking a mate.

Flitting from perch to strategic perch, seeking to see and be seen, reflecting the dazzling rays of the lowering sun, and then...

There she is! 
The female appears, with duller wings and telltale white spots on the wingtips, she strikes a receptive pose for her ardent pursuer.

Dancing the age-old dance of the damselfly, obeying instincts refined in the skies and woods and waters at just this spot for who knows how long...

Ebony Jewelwing, 
just one of a thousand and one good reasons to get outside and discover our wild North Carolina this summer.

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