Red Dragonfly Comparison
On a recent afternoon, I chanced to find two different species of red-bodied dragonflies. One I have tentatively identified as a red meadowhawk (genus Sympetrum). The other might be the same, or some kind of skimmer (genus Libellula). They were at different locations in Washtenaw County separated by about 25 miles. Here is a side-by-side comparison, two top/bottom frames for each species. I've made no real attempt to pin down the species of either kind. Part of the problem is that while it is primarily the males that turn red as they mature, some females do as well, so I don't really know for sure which gender either of these individuals represents.
If you look closely, you'll see a difference in the shape of abdomen between the two species, with the one on the right having a distinct narrowing which isn't visible in the species on the left. The abdomen of the one on the left is broader and somewhat flattened, and that of the one on the right is narrow and round. My recollection is that the two species were of similar size. They were smaller than pondhawks, for example, I believe.
DP225-2014 Posted August 13; montage created ditto
From photos taken in the Waterloo Recreation Area, western Washtenaw County (left) and Nichols Arboretum, Ann Arbor, on August 8, 2014
See fuller uncropped views of each frame starting here: http://smu.gs/1sSylxU
Title: Red Dragonfly Comparison