RUBY, CHERRY-FACED, AND WHITE-FACED MEADOWHAWKS

Finally, here is one I can identify! This is the mature White-faced Meadowhawk. These dragonflies are uncommon in southwest Ohio. Apparently, they used to be more common than they are now (from the historical records). This might be one of our northern species that is losing ground due to climate change.  

The individual at left and above is the only mature White-faced Meadowhawk I have ever seen in our area. I found him at Cox Arboretum on October 6, 2017. I would be really surprised if there is a permanent population of White-faced Meadowhawks at Cox Arboretum, when this is the only individual I have ever found there.  I think it's more likely that he was a stray ... but where he came from, I have no idea. This dragonfly is a complete enigma to me. 

This dragonfly could be one of three species: Ruby Meadowhawk, Cherry-faced Meadowhawk, or (immature) White-faced Meadowhawk. These three species generally cannot be distinguished from photographs (unless it is a mature White-faced Meadowhawk with a vivid white face). Most of the individuals in our area are probably Ruby Meadowhawks. White-faced Meadowhawks are uncommon in our part of Ohio, and apparently so are Cherry-faced Meadowhawks (if they are present at all). Individuals examined in hand almost always turn out to be Ruby Meadowhawks in our area. 

Female meadowhawk. The females of these three species are yellow and even harder to distinguish than the males.