White-faced Meadowhawk Sympetrum obtrusum (Hagen, 1867)S3 (Watch list)  

Status:

The White-faced Meadowhawk (Sympetrum obtrusum) is a widespread species in the northeast, becoming more sporadic further south. This skimmer favors marshy wetlands, peatlands, and marshy or boggy lake and pond edges. This species may have an affinity for more forested landscapes. White-faced is a member of a very difficult complex of similar meadowhawks (with Ruby Meadowhawk and Cherry-faced Meadowhawk) showing black legs and with lateral black triangular abdominal markings. Mature males, and older females show a crimson color to the abdomen. This species is unique in showing a bright white face, but there is evidence that this species may hybridize with Cherry-faced or Ruby Meadowhawk, at least in some portions of the range, and apparent intergrades with a dirty white face or intermediate hamule shape are sometimes encountered. Hamule shape of the males, or subgenital plate shape on females, is considered one of the more reliable ways to distinguish the species. The situation is complex, and has not been resolved (Paulson, 2011). In Maryland, this is an uncommon species in the western mountains, becoming even rarer on the coastal plain (Richard Orr's The Dragonflies and Damselflies of Maryland and the District of Columbia). White-faced Meadowhawk is ranked as S3 (watch list).

There are 90 records in the project database.

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A White-faced Meadowhawk in Howard Co., Maryland (9/22/2013). Photo by Bonnie Ott. (MBP list)

A White-faced Meadowhawk in Garrett Co., Maryland (7/4/2010) Photo by Dave Czaplak. (MBP list)

A female White-faced Meadowhawk with eggs in Howard Co., Maryland (9/29/2013). Photo by Bonnie Ott. (MBP list)

A female White-faced Meadowhawk with eggs in Howard Co., Maryland (9/29/2013). Photo by Bonnie Ott. (MBP list)

A White-faced Meadowhawk in Howard Co., Maryland (9/17/2014). Photo by Bonnie Ott. (MBP list)

White-faced Meadowhawk in Garrett Co., Maryland (10/5/2017). Photo by Mark Eanes. (MBP list)


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