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Claret Pondhawk Erythemis mithroides/"taxon novum"

Update, June 2008: I've added a much better photo by Terry Fuller of a male from his yard in San Benito, Cameron County, Texas in October 2007 - at the bottom of this page:

Update, May 05 2004: exciting news from Dennis Paulson: the ode below is actually an undescribed Mexican species of Erythemis Pondhawk, closely related to - and currently classified within - E. mithroides (click here to see a somewhat faded mature male specimen of this taxon.) This is the first time it has been recorded in the United States. The English name given by Needham, Westfall, and May in their dragonfly handbook is Claret Pondhawk; we await a scientific name from Dennis Paulson, at the time of its formal description.

This dragonfly was found at Santa Ana NWR, Hidalgo County, Texas on May 01, 2004, along a narrow trail deep within thick wood/scrub, with a low, closed canopy; the nearest still water was c. 100+ yards distant. Note the deep red thorax (I considered whether this was due to a red-mite infestation, but I don't think so), the large and dark hindwing basal patches, and the tubular (i.e. unflattened) abdomen. I got a brief but good look at the face, and it was a very rich, bright red:

From Cameron County in 2007