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Rambur's Forktail

Rambur's Forktail
Photo Information
Copyright: Ken Slade (Ken52) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 636 W: 93 N: 1243] (4195)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-07-15
Categories: Insects
Camera: Canon 350D (Digital Rebel XT), Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM
Exposure: f/11, 1/400 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2008-08-11 18:28
Viewed: 5507
Points: 26
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Rambur’s Fork tail (Ischnura ramburii)

This is a mating pair of Rambur’s Forktail in the “wheel position.“ Rambur's Forktail is the most widespread forktail of the New World, ranging as far north as Maine, southward to southern California, Mexico, Central and South America.

Both sexes will remain close to the water and although males are not territorial, females are known to be highly predatory and often cannibalistic. Males often do not release females from the wheel position for several hours, and sometimes as many as seven, to secure their genetic contribution.

The males have a dark head with small pale green postocular spots. The thorax is green with broad black middorsal and humeral stripes that surround a thin pale antehumeral stripe. The abdomen is dark dorsally and pale laterally with blue on all of abdominal segment 8 and anterolaterally on 9. The dorsoapical projection on segment 10 is slight. The cerci are short and blunt. The paraprocts are twice as long as the cerci, unforked and project posteriorly. Females are found in three color forms, including an andromorphic, male-like form. Gynomorphic forms inclue an orange-red form, where the thorax and abdominal segments 1-2 are entirely orange-red except for a prominent black mid-basal stripe on the former. The rest of the abdomen is dark. A second gynomorphic form is olive-green and patterned like the orange-red form. Because young individuals of the green form look like the red form, it is unclear whether a true genetically determined "red form" exists. A prominent vulvar spine on segment 8 is present. The mesostigmal plates are subtriangular with a low, pale ridge forming a continuous posterior border.

Total length: 27-36 mm; abdomen: 21-29 mm; hindwing: 15-19 mm.

Similar Species:
Desert Forktail (I. barberi ) can be distinguished from Rambur's Forktail by the continuous black stripe dorsally on the abdomen and the absence of blue dorsally on segment 9. Only abdominal segment 9 is blue in male Furtive Forktails (I. prognata ) and only segments 1-2, never 3 and 4, are pale in young female Citrine (I. hastata ) and Furtive Forktails.

Heavily vegetated ponds, lakes, marshes and slow reaches of streams exposed to sunlight including brackish waters.

Florida to Maine west to Illinois and south to Texas through Mexico to Chile; also Hawaii.

Source: http://www.odonatacentral.org/index.php/FieldGuideAction.get/id/43089

Aperture = f11.0
Shutter = 1/400s
ISO = 200
Focal Length = 240mm
Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM lens

crs, jaycee, sandpiper2, Alex99, horia, maurydv, schnoopie, soccer has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

  • nagraj Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1618 W: 106 N: 3208] (15166)
  • [2008-08-11 18:40]

hi ken,
awesome image, great shapes, colors and details. tfs.

hello ken,
fine capture of the mating damselflies, i liked the colors, the composition and the light bg very much, sharp image with good details,
well done,
tfs & regards

  • Great 
  • crs Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 469 W: 0 N: 922] (3551)
  • [2008-08-11 20:57]

Hi Ken,

It is a nice and interesting photo of the damselflies. It is interesting the light colored background that makes insect's colors more intense. Image is good having a well chosen DOF that keeps in focus both insects showing good details.

Thank you for sharing,

  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2008-08-11 21:31]

Hi Ken,

The white background and the beautiful colors make this look like an Oriental print. You captured this pair in a wonderful position. Details are razor-sharp. A superb diagonal composition.


Hi Ken

Great presentation of this pair of a damsel species I have not seen before. A very attractive species and you have captured them very well in coitus. Excellent composition with good neutral background. The damsels stand out well with great sharpness and good DOF.


Hi Ken,

Lovely Image, geometrical lines makes the picture so attractive, has colours , details well done. TFS.

  • Great 
  • foozi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2791 W: 0 N: 6696] (25839)
  • [2008-08-12 7:21]

Hello Ken,
a lovely shot. Right moment to click the shutter. Beautiful composition.
Very clear and very sharp.
Nice clear background making the subjects well and detailed depicted.


  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2008-08-12 8:46]

Hi Ken.
What a nice picture. I like light BG for this alive composition. Superb patter, details and shapes as well as amazing colours. Great POV and wonderful impressive farming. Bravo. So refined attractive work. TFS and kind regards.

  • Great 
  • horia Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2158 W: 224 N: 4749] (16656)
  • [2008-08-13 3:48]

Hi Ken

A great presentation here with a terrific close-up of this lovely and beautifully colored species - Ischnura ramburii.
The contrast here between your subjects and the BG is excellent to bring the damsels out even from the thumbnail and the overall DOF and sharpness make sure that both of them are pin-sharp and in full focus.
Great vertical composition and lovely presentation in your note, too.

Bravo and TFS

Great photo with such clarity.

  • Great 
  • GaryT Gold Star Critiquer [C: 102 W: 7 N: 236] (160)
  • [2008-08-14 15:30]

Great exposure and sharpness on these two. Gary

Ciao Ken,
meravigliosa cattura, eccellenti POV e composizione con uno splendido effetto grafico, ottima definizione dei dettagli, molto belli i colori con effetto pastello.
TFS. Maurizio

Hi Ken,
great picture with excellent sharpness on the dragonflies.
Colors are amazing. Great POV, composition and colors. Perfect :)
TFS Tatjana

  • Great 
  • Mana Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1772 W: 36 N: 5597] (18598)
  • [2008-08-17 21:21]

Hi Ken,
Outstanding shot of these mating damsels with immaculate sharpness and lovely colours. Perfect posture captured with beautiful lighting and a precise DOF. You set yourself very high standards. The BG enhances the beauty of the shot. Thanks for sharing.


Very well composed pic. The clear BG and DOF make it excellent. I like the fact that the subjects are detailed and sharp. The colour and POV are well done in the image. Your image is clear and it is a well chosen subject to have captured.

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