Perithemis domitia

Common Name:
Slough Amberwing
P. domitia
Species Description
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 




The Species on Stamps
St. Vincent Grenadines



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