Orthemis Photos

This page displays photos of Orthemis from the New World Tropics. Orthemis is a difficult genus of Libellulidae in which several species have long been confused with the first-named species O. ferruginea. Recent study has shown that what was thought to be a very widespread species is actually at least 5 species, as follows.

  • O. discolor Burmeister, 1839 (Texas to Argentina)
  • O. ferruginea Fabricius, 1775 (southern USA to Costa Rica)
  • O. schmidti Buchholz, 1950 (Guatemala to Peru and Brazil)
  • O. sulphurata Hagen, 1868 (western Ecuador)
  • O. sp. (West Indies, sparingly on mainland adjacent to Caribbean; possibly more than one species)

O. aequilibris Calvert, 1909 (Costa Rica through Brazil to Paraguay) and O. nodiplaga Karsch, 1891 (southern Brazil and surrounding countries) appear to be part of this group, although they have long been recognized as distinct. The situation is made more confusing because O. aequilibris is thought to occur in two morphs, a red one and a pruinose blue one. Much remains to be done with this group.

The life coloration of these species has not been well documented, and questions still remain about identification and species limits, so this site has been set up to publish photos from life, including many freshly collected specimens in the hand. I also include photos of other Orthemis species that have been recognized as distinct for some time, as some of them seem to be in this same group of large, robust species. I encourage all with such photos to send the photos or scans thereof to me for publication here.

Apologies for the washed-out nature of some of the images. When the slides were a bit too dark to register well on the scanner, I had to brighten them greatly in Photoshop, thus the washed-out effect, not the fault of the photographer.

Click a photo to enlarge.

O. aequilibris  

male O. aequilibris, VENEZUELA, Guarico, 7 km W Guayabal, 28 Dec 2000

O. aequilibris  

male O. aequilibris, VENEZUELA, Guarico, 7 km W Guayabal, 28 Dec 2000

O. aequilibris  

male O. aequilibris, VENEZUELA, Amazonas, E of Puerto Ayacucho, 2 Jan 2001

O. aequilibris  

male O. aequilibris, VENEZUELA, Amazonas, E of Puerto Ayacucho, 2 Jan 2001

O. aequilibris  

male O. aequilibris, VENEZUELA, Amazonas, 41 km S Puerto Ayacucho, 6 Jan 2001

O. aequilibris  

female O. aequilibris, VENEZUELA, Barinas, S of Bruzual, 27 Dec 2000

O. aequilibris  

male O. aequilibris blue morph, BRAZIL, Bahia, Lauro de Freitas, Enconto das Aguas, 1 Aug 2004, photo Ruy Penalva

O. aequilibris  

male O. aequilibris blue morph, BRAZIL, Bahia, Lauro de Freitas, Enconto das Aguas, 1 Aug 2004, photo Ruy Penalva

O. ambirufa  

male O. ambirufa, FRENCH GUYANA, Montagne de Kaw, 19 Dec 2003; photo Laurent Juillerat

O. ambirufa  

female O. ambirufa, FRENCH GUYANA, Montagne de Kaw, 19 Dec 2003; photo Laurent Juillerat

O. discolor  

male O. discolor, MEXICO, Veracruz, N of Catemaco, 19 Sep 1999, photo Netta Smith

O. discolor  

male O. discolor, MEXICO, Veracruz, N of Catemaco, 19 Sep 1999, photo Netta Smith

O. discolor  

male O. discolor, MEXICO, Nayarit, Singaita, 13 Sep 2001, photo Netta Smith

O. discolor  

male O. discolor, VENEZUELA, Amazonas, E of Puerto Ayacucho, 2 Jan 2001

O. discolor  

female O. discolor, VENEZUELA, Falcon, 12 km W Tucacas, 21 Dec 2000

O. discolor  

female O. discolor, MEXICO, Baja California Sur, 23 km from hwy 1 on road to San Antonio de la Sierra , 9 Jan 2004

O. discolor  

female O. discolor, VENEZUELA, Amazonas, N side of Rio Ventuari, 5 Jan 2001

O. discolor  

male O. discolor, TRINIDAD, Asa Wright Nature Centre, 1 Mar 1984

O. discolor  

male O. discolor, ARGENTINA, Catamarca, Andalgala, 5 Mar 1974, photo Lynn Erckmann

O. discolor and O. schmidti  

male O. discolor and O. schmidti, ECUADOR, Napo, photo Nick Donnelly

O. discolor and O. ferruginea  

male O. discolor and O. ferruginea, MEXICO, Veracruz, UNAM Tuxtlas Station, 19 Sep 1999

O. discolor and O. ferruginea  

male O. discolor and O. ferruginea, MEXICO, Sinaloa, river 3.4 km E Concordia, 10 Sep 2001

O. "Antillean" and O. ferruginea  

male O. "Antillean" and O. ferruginea, FLORIDA, Dade Co., South Miami, 22 Oct 2001, photo Nick Donnelly

O. "Antillean" and O. ferruginea  

male O. "Antillean" and O. ferruginea, FLORIDA, Dade Co., South Miami, 22 Oct 2001, photo Nick Donnelly

O. ferruginea  

male O. ferruginea, TEXAS, Menard Co., E of Fort McKavett, 14 Jul 2001

O. ferruginea  

male O. ferruginea, MEXICO, Veracruz, E of Totutla, 27 Sep 1999, photo Netta Smith

O. ferruginea  

imm male O. ferruginea, MEXICO, Nayarit, Singaita, 14 Sep 2001; becoming pruinose

O. ferruginea  

imm male O. ferruginea, MEXICO, Nayarit, near Santa Maria del Oro, 19 Sep 2001

O. ferruginea  

imm female O. ferruginea, MEXICO, Nayarit, San Pedro Lagunillas, 17 Sep 2001

O. nodiplaga  

male O. nodiplaga, ARGENTINA, Catamarca, Andalgala, 5 Mar 1974, photo Lynn Erckmann

O. nodiplaga  

male O. nodiplaga, ARGENTINA, Catamarca, Andalgala, 5 Mar 1974, photo Lynn Erckmann

O. schmidti  

male O. schmidti, BELIZE, Corozal, Shipstern Nature Reserve, 1 Aug 2002, photo Laurent Juillerat

O. schmidti  

female O. schmidti, BELIZE, Corozal, Shipstern Nature Reserve, 1 Aug 2002, photo Laurent Juillerat

O. schmidti  

male O. schmidti, VENEZUELA, Amazonas, Campamento Junglaven, 3 Jan 2001

O. schmidti  

male O. schmidti, VENEZUELA, Amazonas, N side of Rio Ventuari, 5 Jan 2001

O. schmidti  

male O. schmidti, VENEZUELA, Amazonas, N side of Rio Ventuari, 5 Jan 2001

O. sulphurata  

male of presumed O. sulphurata, ECUADOR, Guayas, Fundacion Andrate, 13 Nov 2001, photo Noel Snyder

O. sulphurata  

female of presumed O. sulphurata, ECUADOR, Guayas, Fundacion Andrate, 13 Nov 2001, photo Noel Snyder

O. "Antillean"  

mature and immature male O. "Antillean", FLORIDA, Monroe Co., Stock Island, 7 Jan 2000

O. "Antillean"  

male O. "Antillean", FLORIDA, Monroe Co., Stock Island, 7 Jan 2000, photo Netta Smith

O. "Antillean"  

male O. "Antillean", FLORIDA, Monroe Co., Big Pine Key, 22 Aug 1960 (posed)

O. "Antillean"  

males O. "Antillean", VENEZUELA, Falcon, 2 km inland from Boca del Tocuyo, 20 Dec 2000

O. "Antillean"  

female O. "Antillean", DOMINICAN REPUBLIC, Montecristi Prov., 22 Apr 2001, photo Eladio Fernandez