Eastern amberwing

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Eastern amberwing
366 - Eastern Amberwing - Perithemis tenera, Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge, Woodbridge, Virginia - 27519675801.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Odonata
Family: Libellulidae
Genus: Perithemis
Species: P. tenera
Binomial name
Perithemis tenera
(Say, 1839) [1]
North America Range Perithemis tenera.svg
Range of P. tenera [2][3]

The eastern amberwing (Perithemis tenera) is a species of dragonfly in the family Libellulidae. It is very small, reaching a total length of no more than 25 mm. The males have orange or amber wings. Both genders have a red pterostigma.[4] The eastern amberwing dragonfly is one of the only types of dragonfly that actively mimics a wasp. The yellow and brown stripes on its abdomen encourage predators to stay away. When perched, they will wiggle their abdomen and wings in a wasp-like fashion to deter other animals from eating it. Males have an elaborate courtship ritual. When a female approaches his territory, the male will lead her to his selected egg-laying site and hover above it with wings whirring and abdomen raised.[5]

The common name refers to its eastern range, although this dragonfly does extend westward well into the central part of the United States. The scientific name, tenera, means delicate and alludes to its small size.[6]



  1. ^ "Perithemis tenera". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. 
  2. ^ "Perithemis tenera range map". USGS Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center. Retrieved December 2, 2009. 
  3. ^ "Distribution Viewer". OdonataCentral. Retrieved December 2, 2009. 
  4. ^ Abbott, John C. (2005). Dragonflies and Damselflies of Texas and the South-Central United States. Princeton University Press. pp. 292–293. ISBN 0-691-11364-5. 
  5. ^ Silsby, Jill (2001). Dragonflies of the World. Csiro Publishing. p. 58. ISBN 978-0-643-10249-1. 
  6. ^ Paulson, Dennis R; Dunkle, Sidney W. (14 April 2009). "A Checklist of North American Odonata": 69. 

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