Dragonflies

Big Thicket's Dragonflies (Odonata)


Eastern Pondhawk

Erythemis simplicicollis
Say, 1839
Order Odonata 
Suborder Anisoptera 
Superfamily Libelluloidea 
Family Libellulidae 
Genus Erythemis 
Species simplicicollis (Say, 1839) [Libellula]

This species regularly preys on a variety of small and large insects, up to and including other Eastern Pondhawks. Although Eastern Pondhawk inhabits almost any slow moving body of water, they are often found around plants on the water surface, such as water lilies, lotus and duckweed, where males patrol their territories. Males of this species display a unique "leap frogging" behavior when defending territories.

Eastern Pondhawk (Erythemis simplicicollis)


Blue DasherBlue Dasher (Pachydiplax longipennis)

Pachydiplax longipennis
Burmeister, 1839
Order Odonata 
Suborder Anisoptera 
Superfamily Libelluloidea 
Family Libellulidae 
Genus Pachydiplax 
Species longipennis (Burmeister, 1839) [Libellula]

The Blue Dasher is often seen perched vertically on twigs and branches at a variety of heights from just above ground level to tree tops with the wings depressed downward. On warmer days individuals will raise the abdomen in an obelisk position, reducing heat absorbance. They are aggressive predators, regularly taking over 10% of their body weight in prey daily. Adults roost in trees and are occasionally attracted to lights at night.


Reference: Abbott, J.C. 2006-2016. OdonataCentral: An online resource for the distribution and identification of Odonata. Available at http://www.odonatacentral.org. (Accessed: February 19, 2016).