072. Eastern Spectre – Caliaeschna microstigma – European Dragonfly photo
The Eastern Spectre ( Caliaeshna microstigma ) like its Western counterpart ( Boyeria Irene ) is a crepuscular species most often seen in the afternoon and flying until dark. It is the smallest of our aeshnids and as described in the Field Guide it is certainly cryptic. Not only does it fly late in the day but its preferred habitat of heavily shaded streams with difficult access, and its seemingly ceaseless fast and erratic flying without ever landing low down, makes it a very difficult species to photograph. Unless that is you have a lot of time or are part of the unscrupulous brigade who net, put in the cool box and hang up for an ideal pose ! After many hours I had to resort to flight shots with the (for now) very poor results.
KEY I/D FEATURES :
This species derives its Latin name from its black and short pterostigma. The frons on both sexes is white with a black bar on the upper surface.
Males have pale blue spot markings on the abdomen which show as it passes through dappled sunlight. Those on S9-10 form a bar ‘tail-light’.
Females are darker with more brown and yellow markings including yellow antehumeral stripes