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Dragonflies and Damselflies (Order Odonata)

Dragonflies and damselflies are predaceous both as immatures and adults. The adults are quick, agile fliers that are generally considered beneficial because they feed on large numbers of small, flying insects like gnats and mosquitoes. Legs are used either as a basket for catching prey or as grapples for clinging to emergent vegetation. Eggs are laid singly in... more

 

Chasers, Skimmers and Darters (Family Libellulidae)

Broad-bodied Chaser (Libellula depressa)

This dragonfly has a broad, flattened abdomen which is pale blue in males and yellowish-brown in females and immature males. There are yellow spots along the sides of abdomen. They have broad antehumeral stripes...  more

Four-spotted Chaser (Libellula quadrimaculata)

This dragonfly gets its name form the four dark spots present at the midpoint of the front of each of its four wings. Unusually for this family, males and females are much alike in appearance; the basic coloration is...  more

     

Common Darter (Sympetrum striolatum)

This is a small, very common dragonfly that can quickly colonize new ponds. The male Common Darter is usually dull red and the female yellow, orange or brown. Mainly a mid- and late summer species, adults can be seen...  more

 

 

 

Ruddy Darter (Sympetrum sanguineum)

The ruddy darter takes its name from its color and its swift flight behavior. The male dragonfly has a deep russet color over the entire body and the abdomen has a pinched section close to where it joins the...  more

       

Black-tailed Skimmer (Orthetrum cancellatum)

The males have a blue abdomen with a distinctive black tip and clear wings which make it readily identifiable. The female is as equally distinctive with its yellowish brown body with black zigzag marks along the...  more

   
       

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Hawkers (Family Aeshnidae)

Hairy Dragonfly (Brachytron pratense)

Superficially resembling both the Common Hawker and the Migrant Hawker, close inspection will reveal a hairy thorax, indistinct or absent antehumeral stripes and a single yellow dot on the first abdominal segment. The...  more

       

Norfolk Hawker (Aeshna isosceles)

The Norfolk Hawker has a yellow triangular mark on the second abdominal segment which gave rise to its scientific name. It also has green eyes and clear, untinted wings. The Norfolk Hawker needs unspoiled...  more

       

Migrant Hawker (Aeshna mixta)

Males have a very inconspicuous pair of pale yellowish bands on the thorax behind the eyes with predominantly blue paired spots running down either side of the abdomen. A narrow, cream, inverted...  more

 

Emperor Dragonfly (Anax imperator)

The Emperor Dragonflies are a spectacular sight with their broad wings and powerful flight. After emerging, both sexes are pale green with brownish markings. The legs are brown, becoming yellowish towards the...  more

   
       

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Narrow-winged Damselflies (Family Coenagrionidae)

Large Red Damselfly (Pyrrhosoma nymphula)

It is found in most habitats except for the most exposed sites. It has a preference for small acidic pools and is able to persist on many very dry sites that have become unsuitable for other Odonata. It is also quick to...  more

     

Azure Damselfly (Coenagrion puella)

This is a bright blue damselfly that is most commonly found around garden ponds. The males are blue with dark bands across the body, while the females have a black body, sometimes with green flanks. These beautiful...  more

     
       

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Spreadwings (Family Lestidae)

Small Emerald Damselfly (Lestes virens)

This is the smallest of the Spreadwings and is metallic green to bronze in coloration. The males show a bluish powdering at the tip of the abdomen. A narrow but clear yellow stripe across the shoulders...  more

     

Southern Emerald Damselfly (Lestes barbarus)

The Southern Emerald Damselfly is a fairly large, pale yellow-green-brown damselfly. Like all members of the genus Lestes, it holds its wings spread out when at rest, typically at an angle of about...  more

       
       

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