Eastern vs Mexican vs Slough Amerwing

Three amberwing species (Perithemis sp.) breed in Arizona: the Mexican, Slough, and Eastern Amberwings. All are characterized by small size, rounded wings, and generally orange color. The Mexican Amberwing is widespread throughout the southwestern half of the state whereas the distribution of the other two species, in particular the Slough Amberwing, is restricted to the southeast corner of Arizona (Paulson 2009, but see News for a 2010 extralimital record of the Slough Amberwing).

Heterospecific copulating pair of forktails (Ischnura)

Pairs of odonates in tandem and consisting of two different species are occasionally seen, but finding heterospecific pairs in wheel (i.e., in copulation) is exceptional and this phenomenon has apparently been rarely documented.

On 14 September 2010 a pair in wheel and consisting of a male Desert Forktail, Ischnura barberi, and a female Rambur’s Forktail, Ischnura ramburii, was observed along the Wild Horse Pass stream, Maricopa: see first picture below.

Slough Amberwing, Perithemis domitia, at Kelvin Bridge, Pinal

The Slough Amberwing, Perithemis domitia, in Arizona has a limited distribution along the Mexican border in the Southeast corner of the state. On 18 September 2010 a male was found at Kelvin Bridge (Pinal Co.) near the Gila River, thus providing a new county record for the state. This also appears to be the northernmost observation to date of the species anywhere in Arizona. Thanks to Rich Bailowitz, Doug Danforth, and Dennis Paulson for comments on the subject.


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