Cherry-faced Meadowhawk Sympetrum internum Montgomery, 1943  

Status:

Cherry-faced Meadowhawk (Sympetrum internum) is a widespread northern species, and a member of a very difficult complex of similar species (with Ruby Meadowhawk and White-faced Meadowhawk) showing black legs and with lateral black triangular abdominal markings. Mature males, and older females show a crimson color to the abdomen. More western populations of internum are generally distinct, with a red face, and pale basal wings veins, while the ones in the east often have reduced pale wing veins, and a brownish or tan face. Hamule shape of the males, or subgenital plate shape on females, is one of the more reliable ways to distinguish the species. There is some evidence that hybridization may occur between species in this complex in some regions, and intermediate individuals are sometimes encountered. Northeastern populations with subtly different hamule shape and tan faces are called "Jane's Meadowhawk" (Sympetrum janae) by some odonatologists, but it is widely held these are an eastern form of internum, or represent character introgression or hybridization with rubicundulum. The situation is complex, and has not been resolved (Paulson, 2011). Richard Orr (The Dragonflies and Damselflies of Maryland and the District of Columbia) considers internum to be historic in Montgomery Co., and individuals fitting description of 'janae' are known from a handful of valley-and-ridge and piedmont counties.

There are 8 records in the project database.

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A Cherry-faced Meadowhawk in Allegany Co., Maryland (7/15/2013). Photo by Bonnie Ott. (MBP list)

A Cherry-faced Meadowhawk found in Howard Co., Maryland (9/16/2013). A rare find in the state and first county record. Photo by Bonnie Ott. (MBP list)

A Cherry-faced Meadowhawk found in Howard Co., Maryland (9/16/2013). A rare find in the state and first county record. Photo by Bonnie Ott. (MBP list)


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