|Perithemis is a genus of dragonflies
commonly known as Amberwings. They are characterized by their small size
and the amber wings of the male. The genus includes 15 species.
Perithemis bella (Kirby, 1889)
Perithemis capixaba (Costa, De Souza & Muzon, 2006)
Perithemis cornelia (Ris, 1910) - Orange Amberwing
Perithemis domitia (Drury, 1773) - Slough Amberwing
Perithemis electra (Ris, 1930) - Golden Amberwing
Perithemis icteroptera (Selys in Sagra, 1857)
Perithemis intensa (Kirby, 1889) - Mexican Amberwing
Perithemis lais (Perty, 1834) - Fine-banded Amberwing
Perithemis mooma (Kirby, 1889)
Perithemis parzefalli (Hoffmann, 1991) - Clear-tipped Amberwing
Perithemis rubita (Dunkle, 1982) - Ruby Amberwing
Perithemis tenera (Say, 1840) - Eastern Amberwing
Perithemis thais (Kirby, 1889)
Perithemis domitia (Drury, 1773),
the Slough Amberwing, is a small Latin American species whose range just
reaches northward into the lower Rio Grande Valley. Its face is yellow
and the vertex and occiput are brown. The thorax is brown with two wide
olivaceous stripes that become obscured with age. The male's wings are
amber with dark red venation and a pterostigma. The female's wings are
amber out to the nodus, with dark brown spots. The legs are brown with
black joints. The brown abdomen is short with a narrow waste basally widening
medially and narrowing again apically, so as to appear spindle shaped.
There is a series of pale stripes forming an interrupted, but straight,
line on either side of midline. The species has a total length around 21-25
mm, abdomen length 12-16 mm and hindwing 16-20 mm.
This species could easily be confused
with the similar Eastern Amberwing (P. tenera), but that species has chevrons
dorsally on the abdomen, not stripes. Slough Amberwing also tends to prefer
shady areas rather than open sunny fields and meadows like Eastern Amberwing.
All other similar skimmers with amber in their wings are much larger.
Though widespread farther south,
this species has only been found at a few localites in Texas including
the lower Rio Grande Valley and Big Bend National Park. Breeding populations
are known at these localities. Slough Amberwings are often found taking
cover in shady areas unlike both Mexican (P. intensa ) and Eastern Amberwings.
Needham et al. (2000 ) reported that "Adults fly low over water, never
departing far from it. They dart about very swiftly and perch frequently
on emergent twigs or grass stems. Males on meeting face to face in flight
may dart upward to considerable heights, threatening each other, but return
at once to low-level perches."
Perithemis domitia is found from
southern United States of America, Mesoamerica, Greater and Lesser Antilles
and South America. It is a reasonably widespread and locally common species
throughout its range, including occurring within protected areas, and there
is no indication of any population decline. It is accessed by IUCN Red
List as Least Concern