06. Odalisque – Epallage fatime – European Dragonfly photo
Odalisque (Epallage fatime) appears much more like a typical Dragonfly, being large with a substantial body and spread wings. The English name sounds very attractive and it was a species I had long wanted to photograph. The Odalisque is the only representative of its family in our region but many others occur in Asia and are known as ‘gossamerwings’. In Europe it is not a common species. It is a variable in the extent of its dark wing markings with some having totally smoky wings but no valid sub-species have been named. Its preferred habitat is streams which don’t dry up. Often these are fast flowing in hills where the water is full of large pebbles and rocks with much edge vegetation and nearby bushes, typical of the river in Lesvos, Greece shown below.
KEY I/D FEATURES :
The size is similar to the Demoiselles but it looks quite different having a thick body and narrow wings. Newly emerged males are black but mature quite quickly to all blue bodies through the developing pruinosity. The wing tips have dark patches and the pterostigma are long.
Females can appear even more attractive with pale yellow or pale blue bodies and extensive black patterning on the abdomen. The thorax is heavily striped.