The Spiny Baskettail is a drab looking Emerald that is mostly dark with red and grey eyes that turn green or blue with maturity and yellow spots running down the abdomen. It is difficult to distinguish between most species of Baskettails unless you have the specimen in hand
Common Baskettail: The Spiny Baskettail and the Common Baskettail are similarly looking dark Emeralds that are roughly the same size. Spiny Baskettails have little to no dark markings at the base of their hindwings. In comparison many Common Baskettails have a prominent wing patch at the base of the hind wing which makes it easy to distinguish them from Spiny Baskettails. Not all Common Baskettail have these wings patches so it is necessary to take a closer look at specimens without. Examining the claspers on males and subgenital plates on females will help to determine the species
Beaverpond Baskettail : The Spiny Baskettail and the Beaverpond Baskettail are similarly looking dark Emeralds that are roughly the same size. Distinguishing between the males of these species requires a close look at the claspers and the top of the frons. Females can be easier to identify as Spiny Baskettails have mostly clear wings where Beaverpond Baskettail females typically get brown veining throughout the wings at maturity
Spiny Baskettails often emerge in mass with hundreds or perhaps thousands emerging and perching on trees and vegetation. They often feed in large swarms
Prefer slow moving acidic water such as found in marshy lakes, ponds and slow streams
Females produce eggs which accumulate on the end of their abdomen, like a tiny basket, while the female looks for a suitable location to oviposit. She will look for a location with aquatic vegetation, often floating on the water, where she will dip her abdomen in and release the 'basket' of eggs which become short egg strings in the water. Often more than one female will oviposit in the same location
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Range maps and checklists courtesy of Odonata Central. Copyright © 2016 OdonataCentral. All Rights Reserved. Abbott, J.C. 2006-2018. OdonataCentral: An online resource for the distribution and identification of Odonata. Available at www.odonatacentral.org.