Eastern Amberwing (Perithemis tenera)
Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Eastern Amberwing.
Updated: 3/1/2018; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
The orange Eastern Amberwing is a fiery dragonfly that adds a flash of raging color as it flies just above the water.
This dragonfly stays low, close to the water's surface as it flies, feeding on small insects. Males stake a claim on a shoreline territory, preferring areas where vegetation and wood bits stick out of the water. A female will enter a male's territory to mate and then lays her eggs in the water by tapping the tip of her abdomen just into the water's surface. The eggs spread out and eventually naiads (larvae) hatch, and they spend their lives underwater feeding on other small aquatic insects. Once they are ready for adulthood, they will crawl out of the water onto logs, branches or other sturdy wood and molt one last time into a winged adult.
Eastern Amberwings are found near bodies of water like streams, creeks, marshes, ponds and lagoons. They have bright orange wings covered in veins and large red eyes. Brown and yellow lines on the abdominal segments mimic banding seen in wasps. They are small and flick their tails, a behavior that also simulates wasps. Unlike wasps, dragonflies do not have antennae. They are most active on sunny days.