Saturday, July 12, 2008

Dragonflies of Wildcat Ridge

I spent today on a JOE trip (Jersey Odonate Enthusiasts) to Wildcat Ridge Wildlife Management Area about an hour northwest of me. JOE, an informal organization, has been around for about 3 years now, but this was my first chance to attend one of the trips. Five of us spent the day exploring the area looking for dragonflies and damselflies and whatever other interesting things crossed our paths. Enjoy the photos and captions below.

Female Eastern Pondhawk

Blue Dasher

Female Halloween Pennant

Twelve-spotted Skimmer

Racket-tipped Emerald (I caught this one!)

Amber-winged Spreadwing (These spreadwings are tough to ID, although this is the only one that typically has amber in the wings.)

exuvia of an unknown dragonfly.

Female Eastern Amberwing

Slaty Skimmer - a gorgeous deep blue color.

This teneral dragonfly didn't make it very far. It got caught in a large spiderweb on the shore of a pond.

Black-shouldered Spinylegs - You can see the long tibia on this dragonfly.

Black-shouldered Spinylegs - dorsal view

Stream Bluet - we saw many of these so I'm confident I can identify them (for now)
Thanks for reading! Look for some more posts about the butterflies and other critters we saw on this trip.


LauraHinNJ said...

Gorgeous pics!

I think I like the Halloween Pennant the best. Haven't ever seen one of those.

Susan Gets Native said...

I have halloween pennants in my "prairie" in the backyard!
Ever notice that dragonfly names make more sense than birds, most of the time?
I've heard that dragonflies will bite you as you hold them, but it just feels like teeny nibbling. I want to catch one just to have it nibble me!

Larry Jordan said...

Awesome photos! Don't get me started on dragonflies, I have enough to do to keep up with the birds.

Patrick Belardo said...

Laura, they are relatively common. I hope you get to see one.

Susan, I've seen about one dragonfly in my condo yard ever! You're lucky! I've handled tons of dragonflies and have never had one bite me. I don't doubt that it happens though.

Larry, they are a great diversion on a hot summer day when birding can be slow (other than shorebirds of course). Butterflies are good for this too! Give it a try. I recommend the Stokes Beginner's Guide to Dragonflies.

Gallicissa said...

Dragonflies are my staple diversion when I am out birding.
These are all beautiful.

Anonymous said...

Superb photos of some outstanding Odonates! I too have been finding my attention frequently drawn to these magnificent winged creatures.

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