Saturday, February 13, 2010

Dramatic Dragonflies

Since I've been in the mood for dragonflies, John Howard sent me some of his best finds from 2009. I've been drooling over this file of incredible dragonflies, each one is better than the next... and hopefully, you'll enjoy them too!

Blue Corporal - this one was found in Adams County- is a real rarity in the rest of the state. It was big news when several of these were found a year or so ago.

Black-shouldered Spinyleg- is an impressive beast. It may only measure in at 2" but it looks mighty serious with those jagged spines on the hind legs. I have never seen this "uncommon" dragonfly, but John's photo of one perched on Ironweed, Vernonia sp. makes a picture suitable for framing.

Can these eyes be mistaken for anything but an Emerald? It is a Clamp-tipped Emerald, in fact. Again, an uncommon species in Ohio, named for the male's obvious-looking cerci (these are for some serious business with the lady clamp-tails.)

An utterly gorgeous photo of Slaty Skimmer, probably not as rare as most of the others shown here, but this photo was so beautiful, it simply begged to be shown. And it is a good one to be familiar with, as it is very similar to the much rarer Spangled Skimmer (which would have a speck of white along with the black dot on the wing stigma.)
Have patience and learn one or two at a time, and they are not as confusing as they first seem. Dragonflies can be sorted by habitats and behaviors as well as color. Be aware that dragons are often sexually dimorphic and the males and females can vary greatly. It only adds to the adventure!

Again, special thanks to John Howard for allowing me to share these wonderful photos. If you ever want a real challenge, try to photograph some dragonflies!


  1. Beautiful Dragons! Wish it was spring!!

  2. BEAUTIFUL! I thought I was doing quite well this winter, but seeing these makes me wish it were summer. NOW.