Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Swift River Cruiser (Macromia illinoiensis)

Another find at the creek near the Alexander Street and Eastern Ontario Trail intersection ... a beautiful male Swift River Cruiser (Macromia illinoiensis). Until now I've only known this species from remnants after they've collided with a vehicle.

At about 70 mm in length, this dragonfly is larger than its cousin the Stream Cruiser, and it also has a somewhat darker aspect. The large dorsal spot on S7 is diagnostic; it almost seems to glow from a distance.

A couple of closeup shots, showing the single lateral thoracic stripe and facial stripe characteristic of both of our local cruiser species. Although cruisers seldom seem to stop and rest, when they do so they are remarkably placid and tame. I could have easily reached out and plucked this one from the stick it was perching on.