Dragonflies & Damselflies on Deer Creek

 

photo credit: Lisa Redfern

Black Saddlebags – Tramea Lacerata
Large ‘saddle bags’ on hind wings.
Habitat: North America
Active & Flying: Spring through Fall – rarely perches
Distribution: A migratory insect. They travel in swarms.

photo credit: Lisa Redfern

Common Whitetail – Plathemis Lydia
Mature Male: short abdomen with chalky-blue / white coloring
Habitat: ponds, streams, lakes & marshes
Active & Flying: mostly summer but can be seen April – November
Distribution: United States, Canada & Mexico

photo credit: Katja Schulz

Flame Skimmer – Libellula Saturata
Female – paler than male, orange streaks on edges of wings
Habitat: springs, ponds, slow streams, lakes, river pools, irrigation ditches
Active & Flying: February – December
Distribution: California

photo credit: Lisa Redfern

Grappletail – Octogomphus Specularis
Female – thin yellow line top of the abdomen
Habitat: River & wooded areas
Active & Flying: April – October
Distribution: California

photo credit” D Gordon E Robertson

Twelve-spotted Skimmer – Libellula Pulchella
Dark spots on wings (and on wing tips) help to identify this species. Adults develop white spots between the black ones.
Habitat:  shallow ponds, slow streams, and marshes – prefers open areas with lots of sunlight.
Active & Flying: June to late August
Distribution: All 48 states plus Canada

 

photo credit: Lisa Redfern

Western Pondhawk – Erythemis Collocata
Female is green (mature males are blue)
Habitat: Ponds & lakes
Active & Flying: May – August
Distribution: North AmericaPondhawks are named for their flying behavior.
Flying back and forth over open areas, they ‘hawk’ their prey.

photo credit: Lisa Redfern

Widow Skimmer – Libellula Luctuosa
Mature Male: Large brown areas on all four wings – abdomens become whitish
Habitat: Lakes, streams, ponds and away from water
Active & Flying: Mostly Summer but can be seen Spring through Fall
Distribution: United States, Canada & Mexico

photo credit: Lisa Redfern

Widow Skimmer – Libellula Luctuosa
Young Male: Large brown areas on all four wings – abdomens become whitish
Habitat: Lakes, streams, ponds and away from water
Active & Flying: Mostly Summer but can be seen Spring through Fall
Distribution: United States, Canada & Mexico

photo credit: Judy Gallagher

Vivid Dancer – Damselfly
Male – more colorful than female, coloring is purple when temperature is cool, stripe on 2nd segment
Habitat: open rivers and streams
Active & Flying: February – November
Distribution: California

 

 

photo credit: Lisa Redfern

Grappletail – Octogomphus Specularis
Female – thin yellow line top of the abdomen
Habitat: River & wooded areas
Active & Flying: April – October
Distribution: California

Another Grappletail — photo credit: Lisa Redfern
dragonfly nymph shell

 

 

 

 

 

Resources:

CALIFORNIA DRAGONFLY AND DAMSELFLY PHOTO IDENTIFIER

Insect Identification for the casual observer

Odanata Central – Nevada County, CA

PDF – Western Pondhawk (Erythemis collocata)

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