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Unidentified Dragonfly - Epitheca cynosura

Unidentified Dragonfly - Epitheca cynosura
Bartlesville, Washington County, Oklahoma, USA
April 11, 2006
Looks like a white fuzz covering parts of the body. Fungus? Probably immature. This is the first flying dragonfly seen this year. Larval shells are showing up around pond. Zoom lens used with flash extender.

Maybe Common or Mantled. The fuzz is hair. See comparison shot here.

Thanks for input
I have a photo gallery with two other pictures of this specimen plus one of a similar specimen taken three days later. I expect more will be added.

Possibly also Robust Baskettail?
Abbott comments, in his book _Dragonflies and Damselflies of Texas and the South-Central United States_, that the Robust Baskettail has the thorax "Diffusely covered with white hairs, giving it a characteristically dull appearance" and the photo of the Robust Baskettail in the same book (Plate 44a) shows the pale eyes of this specimen. In my limited experience, Common Baskettails have brilliant blue-green eyes, and the photos of the Mantled (Plate 43f in his book)show very dark eyes. Unless flash is obscuring the eye color, my semi-educated guess is that this is a Robust--they're not at all common, but they have been reported from Oklahoma. Dr. Abbott has been very helpful to me in identifying the Odonates on our place.

Elizabeth Moon

Indeed, John Abbott is extremely helpful and his book should be purchased by all. His website is unsurpassed in the US for dragons.

The hairiness on Epitheca members does not separate species and can be present on Common and Stripe-winged as well. The eye color varies with age (in days) and sex and cannot be used to divine species.

The Robust Baskettail is known for the spine on the male cerci, which could be seen in a close photograph. This is a female and it is not possible to split Common from Robust in the female. Robust males are very rare. And have been collected in only one location in Arkansas and one in Oklahoma. The odds that this is a Robust female are very low.

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