common and slender Baskettails
Common Baskettail (confirmed by appendages). 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 another Common Baskettail that I confirmed from the appendages. The eyes are gray or brown in young individuals like this one. The eyes can turn brilliant green in mature individuals.
Another teneral baskettail, photographed at Spring Lakes Park in Bellbrook. Its exuvia is visible left of the head. I watched this individual for about half an hour until I got to see it open its wings (below).
This 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.
Close-up view of the cerci on a Common Baskettail. Examining the appendages is the best way to distinguish Common from Slender Baskettails. (But they rarely sit still for these photos!)
A teneral baskettail, with shiny wings, clings to its exuvia at Cox Arboretum. The exuvia is the nymph's exoskeleton (discarded once the adult dragonfly emerges).