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American Rubyspot - Hetaerina americana - female

American Rubyspot - Hetaerina americana - Female
Williamson County, Texas, USA
June 23, 2007
Several young male American Rubyspots were perched on emergent vegetation in the creek, which has been running for several months now. According to Abbott's book, the wings of tenerals can be entirely amber, but eventually the red comes in and the amber then fades out.

A very beautiful female
One of the most elaborately marked female American Rubyspots that I have seen! I am guessing the wings are still in a state of transition.

We would agree -
except for the gender.

Could you explain, please? N
Could you explain, please? Not saying you're wrong, just that I don't understand the reasoning.

These individuals, observed over several days in the same location (they had favorite perches), were rapidly turning redder on the thorax and head, with more intense color in the wings, and more definition between the red area and the rest of the wing...which is why I considered them males.

What I was calling females, in the same location, were much less bright than this one. Unfortunately, I never got a clear picture of the much greener and duller ones I thought were females...they were lurking in the leaves of water willow where I couldn't get at them--there were always leaves in the way. All the ones sitting up in clear view were redder than the ones lower down in the vegetation. And then it stormed and flooded again for days, and I haven't made it back to that location. (This afternoon, I hope....)

Anyway, I'm here to learn, so if you have the time, please explain.

Looking at the terminal end
of the abdomen, you will see a 'slicer' for cutting open the vegetation and laying eggs. Males will have claspers to hold the female behind the head. Also, under the second abdominal segment of the male, you would see a bump which is the secondary genitalia. As you look through your guide books, pay attention to the end of the abdomen and before long you'll easily be able to tell a male from a female, assuming a good picture, in any species. Take a look at the following three Rambur's Forktails and see if you see what we mean:

Well,, soak me in a sack....
..and call me breadcrumbs....I knew that for other Odes and just didn't think about it with the broadwings...DUH.

Thanks! I often can't tell from the terminal end unless the ovipositer is in use, but the secondary genitalia bump...of course. DUH again.

(So now I wonder why these Rubyspot females were so red when the book says they should be all green...but that's for another discussion because lightning just flashed here again and it looks like we're in for another flood event...the story of this week.)

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