common and slender Baskettails
Common Baskettail. Mature individuals often have brilliant green eyes (but the color is not always apparent, depending on the individual's age). Common Baskettails fly from late April through June.
I believe this is a Slender Baskettail. This species has a more constricted "waist" (like a wasp) and longer cerci than a Common Baskettail. However, Slender Baskettails can be very difficult to distinguish from Common Baskettails. Photographed at Cox Arboretum.
This is a teneral (newly emerged) female baskettail. Its wings have not yet unfolded, and the eyes are still pale. She is either a Common or Slender Baskettail.
Another teneral baskettail, photographed at Spring Lakes Park in Bellbrook. Its exuvia (the nymph's exoskeleton) is visible left of the head. I watched this individual for about half an hour until I got to see its wings open (below).
I found this young baskettail resting on the floor of the gazebo at Cox Arboretum, on May 6, 2016. It is probably a Common Baskettail, but this species is very difficult to distinguish from the Slender Baskettail.
This is the exuvia (discarded shell) of a baskettail dragonfly. I found it exactly as seen in the picture, sitting atop a daisy right by the water's edge. The baskettail nymph had crawled up the daisy's stem and emerged on the flower. Photographed at Germantown MetroPark, May 29, 2016.
I love the moment when a teneral dragonfly's wings snap open for the first time. The fresh wings are filmy and iridescent. Soon, this dragonfly will take its first flight.
This is another possible Slender Baskettail, although I couldn't swear it's not a Common Baskettail. The waist looks fairly constricted, but I'm not sure the cerci are long enough for Slender. These two species are tough to ID. Photographed at Germantown MetroPark.