This creature feature is being revisited for my A-Z blog challenge. The images were taken during one of my families many visits to a family cabin in the mountains. We love to hike and play in the pond and creek near our cabin. One of our (probably strange) family traditions is our yearly creek walk.  We hike a flowing creek, stopping to swim in the deep holes and slipping and sliding our way over brush and other debris.  It has been the source for many humorous adventures especially since everyone in my family goes- my kids, cousins, aunt, mother, and until some recent back issues my grandmother was even there.  The stream in a shady forest is the habitat for my creature feature today. I have seen these iridescent insects in flight on many a creek walk, but we always called them dragonflies. This is actually an Ebony Jewelwing Damselfly.

Wilhelm Photography: Ebony Jewelwing Damselfly

The distinguishing feature between a dragonfly and damselfly is the position of their wings.  A dragonfly lays its wings down flat across its body whereas a damselfly holds the wings together and back over its body.

Wilhelm Photography: Ebony Jewelwing Damselfly

Out of the 170 of Odonata order (encompassing both dragon and damselflies) the ebony jewelwing is the only one to have solid black wings.

Wilhelm Photography: Ebony Jewelwing Damselfly male

The male and females are distinguished by their colors, and have similar colors to the male and female peacock. The male has a stunning blue green iridescent body and almost opaque black wings.

Wilhelm Photography: Ebony Jewelwing Damselfly male

The female is lighter in color and often has a brown or orange iridescent  look. She also has lighter more see through wings with white spots at the ends.

Wilhelm Photography: Ebony Jewelwing Damselfly female

Wilhelm Photography: Ebony Jewelwing Damselfly female

The dragonfly is a great predator to smaller bugs along the stream. They eat the gnats and pest insects that always annoy my family during creek walks. Here is a shot of one with his mouth full.

Wilhelm Photography: Ebony Jewelwing Damselfly eating

Up close the damselfly looks very robotic with its shiny geometric features.

Wilhelm Photography: Ebony Jewelwing Damselfly male

With its shimmery flutter the flight of a damselfly can easily be mistaken for a butterfly.  I didn’t nail these shots (in my defense the ARE crazy fast and tiny,) but this will give you an idea of their flight pattern frozen in different points.

Wilhelm Photography Damselfly Flight

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Wilhelm Photography: Ebony Jewelwing Damselfly

If you enjoyed the closer look at the damselfly, then please share and pin your favorites. And consider seeing one in person- take your family for a creek walk!