Eastern Forktail Damselfly

Eastern Forktail Damselfly – Ischnura verticalis  #2

Eastern Forktail Damselfly Mating Wheel

Eastern Forktail Damselfly Mating Wheel (male on left)

Order Odonata / Suborder Zygoptera / Family Coenagrionidae – narrow-winged damselflies. Live adult damselflies photographed at DuPage County, Illinois, USA.

The vaguely raptorial front legs combined with some serious ripping mouthparts make these otherwise ethereal creatures fearsome predators.  Sometimes they are precision flyers and make a clean, mid-air intercept, but I’ve seen them miss even slowly flying moths repeatedly as well. Often I’ve seen them pounce on resting or nectaring insects.

Their large bulbous compound eyes provide a vision field of 300 degrees. This insect needs binocular vision to maintain their predatory flying capture ability.

Eastern Forktail Damselfly

This species has wide color variation.

Order Odonata: dragonflies and damselflies date back 300 million years, to the Carboniferous Period of the Paleozoic Era. These colorful, enchanting insects are revered second only to the butterflies in the popular psyche. Explore detailed close-up photographs of live, adult dragonflies and damselflies photographed in the wild. Insects | Dragonflies | Damselflies | Bugs Index | Spiders