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Rambur's Forktail
Ischnura ramburii


Gila River, at Ave 7E bridge


Gila River, at Ave 7E bridge


Wheel


Wheel


Wheel


Male (top) and female.


Note exuviae on Bulrush


Male


Note markings


Note markings


Young gynomorphic female (color different) 


Andromorphic female (color similar to male)


Unusual event 


Hordes!?


Close-up of an andromorphic female showing the vulvar spine on segment eight.


Composite comparing Rambur's and Desert Forktails


We do not want to oversimplify the identification of the Forktails (Ischnura) occurring in the southwest!  The best way to positively identify them is "in-hand" with a 10x or better lense.  Close examination of details with binoculars is helpful.  Western Forktail (I. perparva) is similar and it's range is close to us in SE CA and SW AZ.  Mexican Forktail (I. demorsa) is also similar. (not sure of it's range).  

We've seen Rambur's Forktail at the New River Wetlands and all across the Imperial Valley in So. California and along the Gila River in Yuma, Arizona.  Rambur's has been called the Great-tailed Grackle of the dragon world because it's range is expanding rapidly.  They do well in disturbed areas and constructed wetlands so we see more of them at the NRW and along canals than we do Desert Forktails.  There is much debate on the identification of Rambur's Forktail here in the southwest because it might be different from those found in the eastern United States.  An unusual event was photographed in early December, 2001, on a cold stormy night, in which thousands were clustered in the tops of the sedges along the shore of the NRW Imperial site.  When the site was visited a few days later there were few Rambur's to be found.  A similar incident was noted in 2002 with much fewer numbers involved.  We will be watching this phenomenon much closer this winter!

Last updated
Sep 8, 2003