Dragonflies

NOTES

Representative photos of a male and female of each species are shown (if available).

Click on Photo Gallery Link for each species to see all available photos of that species (sometimes more than 20). 

Use Table of Contents to scroll directly to Family if you know it.  Otherwise, scroll down the page to browse. 

Flight dates : for Delmarva (DMV) based on White (2011), personal observations and online posts.  For species rare on the Delmarva, flight dates for NJ taken from the NJOdes website and flight dates for GA taken from Beaton (2007). 





Petaltails (Family Petaluridae)

Gray Petaltail (Tachopterix thoreyi)

Accidental, one historical record in early July 1938, permanent woodland seeps, perches on tree trunks
NJ: 04 Jun - 30 Jul
Gray Petaltail Photo Gallery
 Male, Calvert Cliffs SP, MD

Darners (Family Aeshnidae)

Black-tipped Darner (Aeshna tuberculifera)

Accidental, October 1982, small ponds and marshy streams
NJ: 29 Jul - 01 Nov

Shadow Darner (Aeshna umbrosa)

Uncommon, Fall, field edges, shade and dusk flying
DMV: 26 Aug - 15 Nov
Shadow Darner Photo Gallery

  Male, Schuylkill Nature Center, PA  Heteromorphic Female, Saratoga Springs, NY


Green-striped Darner (Aeshna verticalis)

Note: photos here are only the second documented record for Delaware
Accidental, Fall, open marshy areas and fields, two documented records (1982 and 2011)
NJ: 19 Jul - 24 Sep
 Male, Lum's Pond

Spatterdock Darner (Rhionaeschna mutata)

Accidental, one record in 2011, fishless ponds with emergent vegetation, especially lily pads in early summer
NJ: 29 May - 05 Jul

Spatterdock Darner Photo Gallery
Male, Ten Acre Pond, Centre County, PA

Common Green Darner (Anax junius)

Abundant, widespread, many open habitats, migratory, long flight season
DMV: 19 Mar - 25 Nov

Common Green Darner Photo Gallery

 



 Male, Summit Bridge Ponds
Female, Lum's Pond

Comet Darner (Anax longipes)

Uncommon and very local (e.g., Summit Bridge Ponds), summer, open lakes and ponds
DMV: 16 May - 03 Sep
Comet Darner Photo Gallery



Male, Frankliln Parker Preserve, NJ Female, Taylor's Bridge

Springtime Darner (Basiaeschna janata)

Uncommon, early spring, short flight season, lakes and streams
DMV: 03 Apr - 09 Jun
Springtime Darner Photo Gallery
Male, Blackbird State Forest
Female, Blackbird State Forest


Fawn Darner (Boyeria vinosa)

Uncommon, streams, late summer and fall, flies in shade, dusk and on cloudy days
DMV: 04 Jul - 31 Oct
Fawn Darner Photo Gallery
Male, Fair Hill WMA, MD

Regal Darner (Coryphaeschna ingens)

Accidental, July, well vegetated ponds
GA: 06 Apr - 23 Sep

Swamp Darner (Epiaeschna heros)

Common and Widespread, spring and early summer, forests, Delmarva Bays
DMV: 16 Apr - 08 Sep
Swamp Darner Photo Gallery
         Male, Idylwild, MD
 Female, Idylwild WMA, MD

Taper-tailed Darner (Gomphaeschna antilope)

Rare and rarely seen, often enters buildings, often found with similar Harlequin Darner
DMV: 20 May - 01 Jul

Harlequin Darner (Gomphaeschna furcillata)

Abundant in April, woodland roads in S Delmarva, perches on tree trunks and frequently humans!
DMV: 11 Apr - 09 Jun
Male, Idylwild WMA, MD
 Female, Idylwild WMA, MD

Twilight Darner (Gomphaeschna furcillata)

Accidental, One record in September.  Woodland ponds.
GA: 02 Aug - 04 Nov
 Male, Fakahatchee Strand SP, Collier County, FL (Flash used)
Female, Fakahatchee Strand SP, Collier County, FL (Flash used)

Cyrano Darner (Nasiaeschna pentacantha)

Fairly common and widespread, summer, slow patrols over sluggish rivers and ponds, field edges and parking lots
DMV: 30 Apr - 31 Aug
 Male, Idylwild, MD
Female, Idylwild, MD, consuming Orange Bluet


Clubtails (Family Gomphidae)

Unicorn Clubtail (Arigomphus villosipes)

Fairly common, early summer, unlike other clubtails, prefers ponds and slow, mud bottomed streams
DMV: 22 May - 23 Jul
 Male, Lum's Pond

Black-shouldered Spinyleg (Dromogomphus spinosus)

Uncommon, summer, large streams and rivers
DMV: 28 May - 06 Sep

 Male, Greensboro, MD  Female, White Clay Creek SP

Banner Clubtail (Gomphus apomyius)

Rare, local, brief season in mid-May, fast streams
DMV: 04 May - 02 Jun
       Male, Fisher's Mill Bridge

Lancet Clubtail (Gomphus exilis)

Common, spring and early summer, slow streams
DMV: 12 Apr - 12 Jul
Male, Lum's Pond
Female, Lum's Pond

Midland Clubtail (Gomphus fraternus)

Rare, local, mid-May, inaccessible stretches of the Nanticoke River
DMV: 13 May - 7 Jun


Ashy Clubtail (Gomphus lividus)

Fairly common, May and Jun, streams and ponds, forest roads
DMV: 11 Apr - 04 Jul

 Male, Idylwild, MD
 Female, Trap Pond SP

Sable Clubtail, (Gomphus rogersi)

In the Delmarva, known only from three locations including Blackbird Creek where uncommon in May and June
DMV: 17 May - 27 Jun
Male, Blackbird State Forest

Dragonhunter (Hagenius brevistylus)

Uncommon, summer, large streams
DMV: 31 May - 11 Sep
  Male, Fair Hill NRMA, MD
 Female, Fair Hill NRMA, MD

Southern Pygmy Clubtail, (Lanthus vernalis)

Recently discovered at Ramsey Run near Brandywine Creek (23 May 2015)
NJ: 17 May -07 July
Male, Ramsey Run, Brandywine Creek SP
 Teneral Female, Ramsey Run, Brandwine Creek SP

Appalachian Snaketail (Ophiogomphus incurvatus)

Very rare or extirpated, one sighting of several individuals on White Clay Creek in 1973, no specimen or photograph
Early May to mid June

Common Sanddragon (Progomphus obscurus)

Uncommon, summer, large streams and rivers such as the Choptank, Nanticoke, Pocomoke and Blackbird
DMV: 27 May - 26 Jul
Male, Milton Landing, VA

Eastern Least Clubtail (Stylogomphus albistylus)

Larvae common in Piedmont streams, but adults rarely seen in this area, June, clear, gravely Piedmont streams
DMV: 9 Jun - 27 Jun


Male, Wolf's Hollow County Park, PA
Female, Richland Fishing Access, Broome County, NY

Laura's Clubtail (Stylurus laurae)

Rare, known only from a couple exuvia and tenerals, June, wary, late afternoon flier, small sandy streams
GA: 5 Jun - 25 Sep


Russet-tipped Clubtail ( Stylurus plagiatus)

Local, Fall, tidal portions of White Clay Creek and Elk Creek, MD, Idlywild MD
DMV: 18 Aug - 13 Oct
 Male, Little Elk Creek, Elkton, MD

Arrow Clubtail (Stylurus spiniceps)

Uncommon, July and August, large creeks and rivers, afternoon flier, riffles
DMV: 20 Jun - 9 Sept
 Male, Brandywine Creek State Park


Spiketails (Family Cordulegasteridae)


Brown Spiketail (Cordulegaster bilineata)

Extirpated?, June, last records in the 1970's, small mucky streams and seeps, often without much water
DMV: 06 Jun - 05 Jul; GA: 11 Mar - 08 Jul
Brown Spiketail Photo Gallery
                      Male, Braley Pond, VA

Delta-spotted Spiketail (Cordulegaster diastatops)

Rare, small streams and seeps with mud and detritus, usually larger streams than those used by Tiger Spiketail, beaver dams
NJ: 21 Apr - 08 Jul

Delta-spotted Spiketail Photo Gallery

           Male, Centre County, PA

Tiger Spiketail (Cordulegaster erronea)

Uncommon, July and August, specialized habitat, small hillside seep streams in Piedmont
DMV: 26 Jun - 31 Aug

Male, White Clay Creek State Park (posed)

Twin-spotted Spiketail (Cordulegaster maculata)

Fairly common, widespread, small to medium streams
DMV: 22 Mar - 20 May

 Male, Blackbird State Forest
Female, Blackbird State Forest

Arrowhead Spiketail (Cordulegaster obliqua)

Rare, May, small, muddy streams and seeps
NJ: 23 Apr - 25 Jun
 Male, Hawkins Pond, Broome County, NY


Cruisers (Family Macromiidae)

Stream Cruiser (Didymops transversa)

Common, April and May, Coastal Plain streams
DMV: 11 Apr - 07 Jun
 Male, Blackbird State Forest

Swift River Cruiser (Macromia illinoiensis)

Common, Summer on larger streams and rivers
"Illinois" Swift River Cruiser ( M. i. illinoiensis),
Northern subspecies found on fast Piedmont streams
DMV: 09 Jun - 04 Sep
Male, Fair Hill, MD


"Georgia" Swift River Cruiser (M. i. georgina), Southern subspecies found on slow Coastal Plain Streams
DMV: 07 Jun - 02 Sep

Male, Idylwild, MD, POSED

Royal River Cruiser (Macromia taeniolata)

Common, summer, river's and large ponds (Lum's Pond)
DMV: 25 Jun - 06 Sep
 Idylwild, MD


Emeralds (Family Corduliidae)

Slender (Stripe-winged) Baskettail (Epitheca costalis)

Rare, wooded edges of ponds and streams, maybe overlooked, occurs with Common Baskettail, but flies somewhat later
DMV:  02 Jun - 25 Jun  NJ: 15 May - 28
Slender Baskettail Photo Gallery

 Male, Fair Hill MD

Common Baskettail (Epitheca cynosura)

Common, April and May, wooded edges of ponds and streams
DMV: 10 Apr - 07 July
Common Baskettail Photo Gallery

 Male, Blackbird State Forest
Female, dark-winged form, Idylwild WMA, MD

Prince Baskettail (Epitheca princeps)

Common, summer, ponds and slow moving rivers, rarely perches
DMV: 27 May - 16 Oct
 Male, Greensboro, MD

Mantled Baskettail (Epitheca semiaquea)

Accidental, May, a couple of unconfirmed sightings, bogs and cedar swamps
DMV: 27 Apr - 10 May

 Male, Chatsworth Lake, NJ
Female, Woodland, NJ

Robust Baskettail (Epitheca spinosa)

Uncommon and local, early short flight season, cypress stands, Trap Pond and Idylwild
DMV: 9 Apr - 9 May
 Male, Idylwild, MD
Female, Idylwild, MD

Selys's Sundragon (Helocordulia selysii)

Rare, very local, early short flight season, sandy streams
DMV: 9 Apr - 4 May
 Male, Idylwild, MD
Female, Idylwild, MD

Umber Shadowdragon (Neurocordulia obsoleta)

Uncommon, crepuscular, difficult to see, most often detected by finding exuvia
DMV: 20 May - 29 July
 Male, Perryville, MD, posed

Stygian Shadowdragon (Neurocordulia yamaskanensis)

Uncommon, crepuscular, difficult to see
DMV: 02 Jun - 02 July

Fine-lined Emerald (Somatochlora filosa)

Uncommon, late summer, sandy roads and fields, Great Cypress Swamp
DMV: 27 Jul - 08 Sep

 Idylwild, MD

Coppery Emerald (Somatochlora georgiana)

Rare, Summer, small forested streams, sandy roads
DMV: 12 Jun - 31 Aug

Mocha Emerald (Somatochlora linearis)

Fairly common, crepuscular, slow moving streams forest streams with mud and leaf litter, upland fields and powerlines
DMV: 10 Jun - 05 Oct
 Male, Idylwild, MD

Treetop Emerald (Somatochlora provocans)

Rare, sand bottom forest streams and seepages, sand roads, high flier
DMV: 18 Jun - 01 Aug
 Male, Calvert Cliffs SP, MD

Clamp-tipped Emerald (Somatochlora tenebrosa)

Uncommon, forested roads and clearings near woodland streams
    DMV: 10 Jun - 03 Sep
 Male, Calvert Cliffs SP, MD



Skimmers (Family Libellulidae)


Four-spotted Pennant (Brachymesia gravida)

Common, but very local. Tolerant of brackish water.  Found only in a few spots along the Delaware and Chesapeake Bays. 
DMV: 19 Jun - 09 Sep
Four-spotted Pennant Photo Gallery

 Male, Woodland Beach WMA

Calico Pennant (Celithemis elisa)


Common, widespread, open ponds and fields
DMV: 27 May - 10 Oct
 Male, Summit Bridge Ponds
 Female, Summit Bridge Ponds

Halloween Pennant ( Celithemis eponina)

Common, widespread, open ponds and fields
DMV: 09 Jun - 03 Oct
 Male, Summit Bridge Ponds
 Female, Woodland Ferry

Banded Pennant ( Celithemis fasciata)

Rare, small, vegetated ponds in southern DMV
DMV: 12 Jun - 04 Sep
 Male, Idylwild, MD
 Female, Idylwild, MD

Martha's Pennant ( Celithemis martha)

Rare, July, sand bottomed lakes fringed with emergent vegetation
NJ: 05 Jul - 03 Oct

 Male, Winslow WMA, NJ
 Female, Winslow WMA, NJ

Double-ringed Pennant (Celithemis verna)

Uncommon, summer, small, undisturbed woodland ponds
DMV: 07 Jun - 27 July
 Male, Idylwild WMA, MD
 Young Male, Idylwild, MD

Eastern Pondhawk (Erythemis simplicicollis)

Very common, summer, widespread, open ponds and rivers, ground percher
DMV: 01 May - 15 Oct
 Male, Idylwild WMA, MD
 Female, Summit Bridge Ponds

Seaside Dragonlet (Erythrodiplax berenice)

Abundant in its habitat (salt marshes), summer
DMV: 22 May - 09 Oct

 Older Male, Bombay Hook NWR
 Female, spotted form, Bombay Hook NWR

Little Blue Dragonlet (Erythrodiplax minuscula)

Accidental, two records, July 2009 from Idylwild, MD and August 2013 from Summit Bridge Ponds, DE
GA: 06 Mar - 08 Dec
 Male, Summit Bridge Ponds, First state record for DE

Blue Corporal (Ladona deplanata)

Uncommon, early spring, muddy edged ponds
DMV: 20 Mar - 15 Jun
Blue Corporal Photo Gallery


        Male, Summit Bridge Ponds
 Female, Summit Bridge Ponds

Dot-tailed Whiteface (Leucorrhinia intacta)

Accidental, July, one record in 1972, marshy ponds
NJ: 01 May - 10 Jul
Dot-tailed Whiteface Photo Gallery




 
 Male, Fiddle Brook Beaver Pond, Susquehanna County, PA

Golden-winged Skimmer (Libellula auripennis)

Accidental, June, one record in 2014 at small pond on private property in New Castle County, fresh water ponds, probably rare and overlooked

 
 Male, Mt Cuba Gardens

Bar-winged Skimmer (Libellula axilena)

Uncommon, summer, local, marshy forest ponds, Delmarva Bays
DMV: 30 May - 01 Sep
 Male, Lum's Pond
Female, Idylwild WMA, MD

Spangled Skimmer (Libellula cyanea)

Common, early summer, widespread, lakes, ponds and rivers
DMV: 07 May - 21 Aug
 Male, Lum's Pond SP
Female, Idylwild WMA, MD

Yellow-sided Skimmer (Libellula flavida)

Rare, summer, bogs and seepages, Idylwild
DMV: 17 May - 09 Aug
 Male, Idylwild WMA, MD
 Female, Idylwild WMA, MD

Slaty Skimmer (Libellula incesta)

Abundant, summer, widespread, ponds and forest edges
DMV: 19 May - 18 Oct
 Male, Lum's Pond
Female, Prime Hook NWR

Widow Skimmer (Libellula luctuosa)

Common, summer, widespread, ponds and forest edges
DMV: 12 May - 09 Oct
 Male, Lum's Pond
Female, Trap Pond State Park

Needham's Skimmer (Libellula needhami)

Common, summer, widespread, ponds and forest edges, brackish environments
DMV: 21 May - 20 Sep
 Male, Woodland Beach WMA
 Female, Taylor's Bridge

Twelve-spotted Skimmer (Libellula pulchella)

Common, widespread, ponds, migratory
DMV: 13 May -18 Oct
Twelve-spotted Skimmer Photo Gallery
 Male, Summit Bridge Ponds
 Female, Beaver Dam Meadow, Huntingdon Co, PA

Painted Skimmer (Libellula semifasciata)

Common, widespread, ponds and marshes
DMV: 16 Apr - 08 Aug
Painted Skimmer Photo Gallery
Male, Lum's Pond State Park Female, Summit Bridge Ponds

Great Blue Skimmer (Libellula vibrans)

Fairly Common, Forest Pools, Variable abundance from year to year
DMV: 01 May - 01 Oct
Male, Lum's Pond State Park
Female, Blackbird State Forest


Elfin Skimmer (Nannothemis bella)

Rare, specialized habitat, bogs
DMV: 01 May - 04 Aug
Elfin Skimmer Photo Gallery
Male, Idylwild WMA, MD
Female, Idylwild WMA, MD

Roseate Skimmer (Orthemis ferruginea)

Accidental, October, one record at extreme tip of DMV, southern species possibly expanding its range northward, marshes, ponds, lakes and puddles
GA: 06 Mar - 07 Dec
Roseate Skimmer Photo Gallery
 Male, Pumphouse E of Santa Ana NWR, TX
Female, Loxahatchee NWR, Florida

Blue Dasher (Pachydiplax longipennis)

Abundant, ubiquitous
DMV: 01 May - 22 Oct
Blue Dasher Photo Gallery
 Male, Bombay Hook NWR
 Female, Summit Bridge Ponds

Wandering Glider (Pantala flavescens)

Farily common, widespread in many open habitats, attracted to muddy puddles, long distance migrant
DMV: 20 May - 22 Oct
(one outlier record on 16 April 2015 associated with very strong southerly winds)
Wandering Glider Photo Gallery
Dankworth Pond, Safford, AZ
 In flight, Summit Bridge Ponds

Spot-winged Glider (Pantela hymenaea)

Farily common, widespread in many open habitats, attracted to parking lots, long distance migrant
DMV: 11 May - 13 Oct
Spot-winged Glider Photo Gallery
Female (?), Summit Bridge Ponds
 Summit Bridge Ponds

Eastern Amberwing (Perithemis tenera)

Abundant, widespread, ponds and rivers
DMV: 12 Apr - 03 Oct
Eastern Amberwing Photo Gallery
 Male, Lum's Pond State Park
 Female, Lum's Pond State Park

Common Whitetail (Plathemis lydia)

Abundant, ubiquitous
DMV: 03 Apr - 15 Oct
 
 Male, Lum's Pond
 Female, Ramsey Run, Brandywine Creek State Park

Blue-faced Meadowhawk (Sympetrum ambiguum)

Fairly common but local, Fall, woodland ponds and Delmarva Bays
DMV: 05 Jun - 09 Nov
 Male, Lum's Pond
  Female, Lum's Pond

Cherry-faced Meadowhawk (Sympetrum internum)

Fairly common, Delmarva Bays, small ponds
Not separable from Ruby Meadowhawk (S. rubicundulum) except in the hand, intermediates occur that may be hybrids or a separate species sometimes called Jane's Meadowhawk (S. janeae)
DMV: 21 Jun - 26 Sep
Cherry-faced Meadowhawk Photo Gallery
 Male, Lum's Pond

Ruby Meadowhawk (Sympetrum rubicundulum)

Status poorly known because of identification problems. See notes under Cherry-faced Meadowhawk
14 Jun - 03 Oct

Ruby Meadowhawk Photo Gallery
 Male, Hollingsworth Park, MD

Band-winged Meadowhawk (Sympetrum semicinctum)

Rare and possibly decreasing, currently known from only one site, late summer, wet meadows with flowing water, marshes, boggy lake fringes
DMV: 08 Jun - 12 Sep
Male, Leon's Garden World (Rt 202) Pond

Autumn Meadowhawk ( Sympetrum vicinum)

Common, emerges in July, disappears, returns to breeding areas in Fall, ponds, usually one of the last odonates flying in fall
DMV: 24 Jun - 13 Dec
 Male, Lum's Pond
 Female, Summit Bridge Ponds

Striped Saddlebags (Tramea calverti)

Accidental, late Summer and Fall, tropical species that occassionally invades the NE, migratory, beaches
DMV: 11 Aug - 22 Aug

 Male, Dankworth Pond, Safford, AZ

Carolina Saddlebags (Tramea carolina)

Abundant, summer, widespread, occurs in flight over almost any open habitat, migratory
DMV: 16 Apr - 09 Oct
 Male, Summit Bridge Ponds
 Female, Summit Bridge Ponds

Black Saddlebags (Tramea lacerata)

Abundant, summer, widespread, occurs in flight over almost any open habitat, migratory
DMV: 01 May - 18 Oct
 Male, Summit Bridge Ponds
 Female, Summit Bridge Ponds

Red Saddlebags (Tramea onusta)

Accidental, late summer, occurs in flight over almost any open habitat, migratory
NJ: 04 Jul - 29 Sep
 Male, Bentsen State Park, McAllen, TX
 Female, Roper Lake State Park, Graham County, AZ



All photographs on this site are copyright Michael C. Moore.  No other use allowed without prior permission (mcmoore32@gmail.com).