Ditch Jewel

Male Ditch Jewel (Brachythemis contaminata) spotted on a riverbank in Alleppey, Kerala. The Allapuzha District is home to an extensive network of backwaters as well as rice paddies, an ideal breeding ground for dragonflies and damselflies, as well as one of Kerala’s main destinations (for human visitors, that is). The male and female are difficult to distinguish

from a distance, but up close the differences are evident. The eyes’ and body’s colors are not as significant as you’d think, as odonates are prone to drastically changing colors as they age – the key identifying feature is the wings. In males, the wings are toned a rich amber – in females, the color is slightly more yellow. However, the wing spots (at the top of each wing there is a single segment that is tinted differently from the rest of the wing) of the male are red, whereas the female’s are yellow.

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