Slender Baskettail (Epitheca costalis)

Many of the Baskettails (Epitheca sp) are notoriously difficult to identify, even in hand.  Perhaps the most confusing area for the identification of these species is East Texas, where 5 confusingly similar species co-occur.  Usually, the Mantled Baskettail (E. semiaquea) is mostly easily distinguished, with its distinctive hindwing maculation and stout abdomen.  Robust Baskettails (E. spinosa) can be distinguished IF the terminal appendages can be seen clearly, as there is a dorsal spine on each.  Next is the Common Baskettail (E. cynosura), which occurs in both clear-winged and maculated forms and has a relatively stout abdomen.  The Slender Baskettail (E. costalis) is more slender, has no maculations in its wings, a slender abdomen, and relatively straight terminal appendages in males and long appendages in females.  The Dot-winged Baskettail (E. petechialis), in its dot-winged form is easily distinguished by the dots on the leading edges of both wings.  Unfortunately, it also occurs in a clear-winged form, which can only be distinguished in hand or by geography from the Slender Baskettail (E. costalis).  In these pages, I have made my best effort to determine species, but this is not always possible with photographs - in fact, many experts would probably suggest that I'm being overly optimistic in some of the identifications presented here.  For all individuals which I have been unable to determine species (or make an educated guess), I've created a page for unidentified Baskettails.

These specimens are all from Florida, and with their slender abdomens, I'm reasonably confident of the identifications of the males, and nearly certain of the identification of the female with her long terminal appendages.

FLORIDA: Liberty Co; Apalachicola National Forest, Camel Lake - female - March 2012

FLORIDA: Santa Rosa Co; Blackwater State Forest, Coldwater Horse Trail - male - March 2010

FLORIDA: Santa Rosa Co; Blackwater State Forest, Coldwater Horse Trail - teneral female - March 2010

FLORIDA: Santa Rosa Co; Blackwater State Forest, Ates Creek - male - March 2010