Some S-J Dragonflies and Damselflies

Many thanks to Dennis Paulson, Director Emeritus of the Slater Museum of Natural History at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, WA, for providing identifications of some of our Odonates! For a wealth of images and information about Odonata, including distribution maps for Western North America, see this link reflecting his work:

Odonata at the Slater Museum of Natural History

Additional sources: Dunkle, Sidney, 2000, Dragonflies through Binoculars, NY: Oxford University Press

Members of the Order Odonata have "two pairs of long membranous wings nearly equal in size and with many cross veins" (Castner p. 55). Their heads have biting mouthparts, short antennae, and very large sphericoid compound eyes. The aquatic nymphs are predaceous. Many of the images below may be enlarged.


Below, left:

Dragonflies (Odonata, suborder Anisoptera)

Wings are held out to the sides, hind wings are broader at the base than the forewings, and in most species the huge eyes come into contact at the top of the head.

a Roseate Skimmer (Orthemis ferruginea)




Below, right:

Damselfly (Odonata, suborder Zygoptera)

Wings are usually held together over the back, hind wings and forewings are similar, eyes are separated; these insects are smaller and more slender than dragonflies.

a Bluet (genus Enallagma, species uncertain)


Dragonflies, continued:

Mexican Amberwing (Perithemus intensa)


Flame Skimmer (Libellula saturata)


Common Green Darners (Anax junius)

Male and female in tandem, female laying eggs.


Neon Skimmer (Libellula croceipennis), a close relative of the Flame Skimmer (above), seen in Sierra Blanca Spring, September 9, 2004.


Variegated Meadowhawk (Sympetrum corruptum)


Red Saddlebags (Tramea onusta)

Possibly a mature male Variegated Meadowhawk (see above)


Damselflies, continued:

On September 10, 2004, these two Damselflies were spotted on a log above the stream in Upper Hot Springs Canyon, a short walk above photostation 12:

Here, below, are close-ups of each. Thanks again to Dennis Paulson for identifications.

Sooty Dancer (Argia lugens)

You can see the characteristic Damselfly separation between the eyes very nicely in this image.

This American Rubyspot (Hetaerina americana) flashed a brilliant red beam whenever it quickly opened-and-closed its wings. We could not capture this brilliance on camera, but you can get hints of it from several images, below:

Click on each image to enlarge.