Another installment of spring Odonates…
Spatterdock Darner (Rhionaeschna mutata)
Since the last post left off with a photo of a female Spatterdock Darner, it seems fitting to open this post with shot of a male:
This is only the third time I’ve photographed one these - several (at least 6) were flying and perching in a field north of the Kalamazoo River in the Allegan game area. Their distinctive blue markings, in particular their blue eyes, make them stunning.
Spangled Skimmer (Libellula cyanea)
These were abundant everywhere I visited this past week. They are always common, but are particularly numerous this year. So far, I’ve not spotted a mature male with the solid blue body. These are either females or immature males.
Calico Pennant (Celithemis elisa)
A beautiful species and one that likes to perch on the tips of grass stalks - making them fairly easy to photograph. Again, only immatures or females, and no crimson red males yet.
Twin-spotted Spiketail (Cordulegaster maculata)
A large dragonfly that I only see in a few places, though it is considered common:
Midland Clubtail (Gomphus fraternus) and unknown gomphidae.
Here’s what I *think* is a Midland Clubtail - these are common in some parts of the Allegan Game Area in the spring. The yellow triangle in the middle of the 9th segment of the abdomen is what I’m keying in on to make this speculative identification:
And here is an unknown clubtail, photographed on the McLinden Nature Trails near Comstock, Michigan:
Blue Dasher (Pachydiplax longipennis)
Blue Dashers are quite abundant this year - hard to believe that in a few recent years I seldom saw any mature males. This year they are out in force. Below are some shots of the males with their colorful blue bodies, and females with their striking black and yellow coloration.