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EPITHECA CANIS DRAGONFLY ( CORDULIIDAE )

BEAVERPOND BASKETTAIL TAXIDERMY

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KINGDOM : Animalia

PHYLUM : Arthropoda

CLASS : Insecta

ORDER : Odonata

FAMILY :Corduliidae

GENUS :Epitheca

Introduction of damselfly & dragonfly watching


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BEAVERPOND BASKETTAIL

Epitheca is a genus of dragonflies in the family Corduliidae. They are commonly known as baskettails.

Some authorities spin off the North American baskettails into two new genera, Epicordulia and Tetragoneuria, but this has not gained widespread acceptance and most references place them under this genus.

The species is found in rivers and slow streams; sloughs seem preferred over ponds and lakes in Northwest, but latter also used. Aquatic vegetation usually prominent. Males more likely at moving water than other Epitheca, sometimes even over swift streams. More likely over bog ponds in eastern part of continent.

Beaverpond Baskettail dragonflies have an early flight season, first appearing in May in the Northeast. The males (pictured) cruise over the water (often beaver ponds, hence their name) as well as the shore in sexual patrol flight, flying back and forth over the same area repeatedly. After mating, the female accumulates a large egg cluster at the tip of her abdomen, and as she drags it along the surface of the water, a long string of eggs is draped over plants. Once these strings expand, they can be several feet in length and an inch or more in diameter.

The insect family Corduliidae contains the emerald dragonflies or green-eyed skimmers. These dragonflies are usually black or dark brown with areas of metallic green or yellow, and most of them have large, emerald-green eyes. The larvae are black, hairy-looking, and usually semiaquatic. Members of this family include the baskettails, emeralds, river cruisers, sundragons, shadowdragons, and boghaunters. They are not uncommon and are found nearly worldwide, but some individual species are quite rare. Hine's emerald dragonfly (Somatochlora hineana), for example, is an endangered species in the United States.

The dragonflies in this family are large, usually between 1.5 and 3 inches in length. They have bright green eyes, and many species are black with metallic green or yellow markings. Green-eyed skimmers and emerald dragonflies are found near wooded ponds and streams.

The ringed boghaunter (Williamsonia lintneri ) is one of the species in this family. It is a rare dragonfly found only in Maine, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Michigan, Wisconsin and New Hampshire. It is an endangered species in New Hampshire and Maine.

The ringed boghaunter is a little over an inch in length. It is black with yellow or orange rings on its abdomen. It has a yellow face and mouth and bright bluish-green eyes. The ringed boghaunter is found in acidic bogs, fens, and wetlands with sphagnum ( peat moss). It is one of the first dragonflies to appear in the spring. It is usually seen from late April to June.

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