On July-19th I was sitting on the front deck of our Clam Point, Cape Sable Island yard when I saw a dragonfly overhead and I had little idea what it was. This is quite unusual as, although I am no expert, neither am I inexperienced, it was a dilemma. From the visual, I suspected a Prince Baskettail of the northern population which can show much reduced wing markings. I managed to grab a few photos, not easy with a distant and high flying ode, and posted them on the Northeast Odonata group site on Facebook.
Healthy debate began and Nick Block floated the idea of a Somatochlora (Emerald) species. Emeralds are a bit thin on the ground so I was pretty interested there but still felt, within my own experience, that the more obvious and abundant Prince Baskettail might still have a part to play.
Experience of these things is key as the illustrated guides are limited in their reference and I had no idea that some of the emeralds could have such well-marked wings, I knew a few got duskier with age, as in many species, but the well-defined marks I was seeing did not seem to be referenced.
Next Denis Doucet added a name to the debate, Incurvate Emerald (female). I went back to my admittedly poor flight shots and cooked one in Lightroom, the object being to bring out more detail, if not to turn the bad shots into good ones. The result was good enough for Chris Hill to agree with Denis’s ID as correct, Incurvate Emerald it is. Now I know they are here I have to find out exactly where they perch and try for a more classic shot. It just shows what you can divine from a lousy photo viewed with applied experience. Thanks to all for their comments.
Just a reminder to those of you in Nova Scotia who look at odes, and those of you who might take the odd photo and want help with an ID. Ideally this is an odeing community Blog and Invite contributions, photos and blog posts. They can be sent to me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org (don’t ask about why that is my email address!). I can take text directly or from a MS Word document. Photos are best edited, 12 inches wide and 72 dpi, thanks.