Jade-striped Sylph
Macrothemis inequiunguis
The Jade-striped Sylph (Macrothemis inequiunguis) is a seldom-seen tropical dragonfly which is actually fairly rare and quite local in Texas, the only state in the U.S. where it is found. It ranges southward into Central and northern South America where it is more common, however. The shot here, of a teneral female, was taken along the banks Honey Creek in the Honey Creek State Natural Area, Comal Co., Texas, in June, 2005. This photo was a digital capture with a Canon EOS 1D Mark II and an EF 300mm F/4 L IS lens and 2X extender and 580EX flash. Martin Reid had found another Jade-striped Sylph at a nearby location a week or so earlier and he took John Abbott and me back to the vicinity to look for others.
The next 5 shots show an adult female Jade-striped Sylph. These images were taken in August, 2007, in Lockhart, Caldwell Co., Texas, with a Canon EOS 1D Mark III and EF 300mm F/4 L IS lens and 2X extender and 580 flash. These 5 shots were of a posed insect which had been netted. We (John Abbott, Eric Isley and I) saw at least 4 different individuals, but they remained in flight during all of our observations, thus the posed images. We still hope to get some shots of a naturally perched one at some point. The discovery of this species at this particular location represents the eastern most record in Texas and only the 5th county in Texas, and the U.S., where this species has been found.
Persistence pays off. We made another trip to the Caldwell Co. location a few days later and after watching several males and females in flight for long periods, we finally were able to watch several males perch. Curiously, sometimes they hung from a grass stem, such as in the shot on the immediate right, sometimes they perched on top of a blade of grass or a ragweed leaf, such as in the next 3 shots, and sometimes they perched at a 45 degree angle such as the 5th shot. Note that the males shown here, at least two different individuals, lack the brown tipped wings of the female in previous shots.
The perched female shown here was also shot in August, 2007, at the same spot as the shots just before. Finally, after many trips, we got some shots of a naturally perched female.
The next 5 shots of Jade-striped Sylph were taken along Candeleria Creek, Montell, Uvalde Co., Texas, in July, 2010, with a Canon EOS 1D Mark IV and an EF 300mm F/4 L IS lens and 2X extender and 580 flash. The first 2 shots show a very teneral male while the next 3 shots show an adult female.