Dragonflies: Jewels of Summer

lostpineslife

Dragonflies of Bastrop Tx

Dragonflies are the sparkling jewels of summer at Little Piney.  When the birds are scarce and temperatures reach 105, only the dragonflies will lure me out into the fields with my camera.  Two summers ago I wrote “Dragonflies and Fairytales” which covers a few basics about dragonflies and their fascinating life cycle.  Recently I learned that Texas hosts 160 species of dragonflies, over half the species found in the US.  I’m waiting on my copy of Dragonflies of Texas: A Field Guide  by John Abbott so I can learn more about the different species and their behaviors.  Currently,  I’m relying on internet resources, especially Greg Lasley’s Nature Photography site and his expert help through iNaturalist.  I have found a wonderful community of scientists and naturalists willing to help others learn about the plants and creatures around them.  Thanks to all of you who have answered my questions and corrected my mis-identifications on iNaturalist and Facebook.  Here are 16 of the dragonflies of Bastrop Tx.

Needham’s Skimmer

Dragonflies glisten and glow in the sun.  This is a Needham’s Skimmer on a dried horsemint.

Yellow-sided Skimmer

This beautiful Yellow-sided Skimmer is uncommon in Bastrop.

Yellow-sided Skimmer
Yellow-sided Skimmer

Roseate Skimmer

I recently learned that dragonflies may fade in color as they age.  The magenta or purple Roseate Skimmers might be gray when older.

Eastern Pondhawks

In some species, males and females are not the same color at all.  These large Eastern Pondhawks are very common at Little Piney.  Males are blue with a green face, and the females are green with a striped tail.

Red Saddlebags

“Saddlebags” dragonflies have a coloration in their lower set of wings that they use to shade themselves when perching.

Dragonflies of Bastrop Tx
Red Saddlebags

Broad-striped Forceptail

This photo doesn’t capture the beautiful orange and brown coloration of the Broad-striped Forceptail which I have only seen once.

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Dragonflies of Bastrop Tx
Broad-striped Forceptail

More Skimmers

Many of the dragonflies at Little Piney are in the Skimmer family. The Widow Skimmer, White-tailed Skimmer and Four-spotted Pennant all have clear wings with black spots.

Halloween Pennant

One of my favorites–the Halloween Pennant

And a few more-the Swift Setwing, Blue Dasher, Eastern Amberwing, and Slaty Skimmer.

 

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