Excerpts from Jim Conrad's
Naturalist Newsletter

Pacific Forktail, ISCHNURA CERVULA

from the June 14, 2009 Newsletter, issued from the Siskiyou Mountains west of Grants Pass, Oregon:

The little pond above my trailer nowadays is busy with a dainty, blue damselfly a little different from those I've seen in the East. Bea in Ontario helped me identify it as the Pacific Forktail, ISCHNURA CERVULA. Bea helps because my modem connection here is so slow that I can't do much browsing of images. You can see our Pacific Forktails, male at the top, female below, in the picture above.

This species often is abundant in ponds and marshes all through the mountainous Pacific Northwest. You can see that the male and female are quite different. When I took the picture I only knew that they were the same species because I saw them mating. I read that females present several color variations. Apparently our picture shows an exceptionally pale immature female with an unusually thick abdomen.

I've observed these damselflies catching mosquitoes, for which I'm grateful, and I've seen the damselflies in turn being gulped down by the big Bullfrogs hiding in grass along the pond's banks. Since mosquitoes often feed on me, then, I can guess that a few molecules of myself have passed through mosquitoes and forktails to the bullfrogs. When the bullfrogs serenade me all night, in a real sense, thanks to mosquitoes and forktails, I'm hearing a song of myself.