An Orange Meadowhawk

July 3, 2011

Update of July 17, 2011: I've now come across the cherry-faced meadowhawk. Therefore, it's most likely that this orange meadowhawk is the immature form of the cherry-faced.
Over the past few weeks, I've encountered a small and friendly orange dragonfly, which is probably an immature meadowhawk (Sympetrium). Its color is supposed to become more reddish as it ages, so I expect I've been seeing different individuals.

Or perhaps this is the Peter Pan of dragonflies, remaining forever young.

Whatever the truth, I like this orange dragonfly as I can often get close enough to use my regular macro lens.

Immature meadowhawk, dragonfly
  The above photo may not be that great for identification, but I love the wing shadow pattern on the grass.

The next is more of an ID photo.

Immature meadowhawk, dragonfly
  The trick with an orange meadowhawk is that it can be the immature of any of three different species: the ruby meadowhawk, the cherry-faced meadowhawk, and white-faced meadowhawk. One needs to be an expert (and have the dragonfly in hand) to find out which.
Immature meadowhawk with Cheshire smile
  So perhaps I can refer to the above meadowhawk as having a Cheshire smile, since it's the only one who knows for sure who he or she is.

Photo note: The first photo was taken with the Pentax K20D and the Voigtlander 125mm macro lens on 15 June 2011, in the Toftrees game land. The second two, taken in the same area, but with the Pentax SMC-DA 55-300mm lens, on 29 June and 1 July 2011.

Two other dragonflies, a red dragonfly, and a twelve-spotted skimmer

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