Posts Tagged 'dragonflies'


IMG_4881It was a bright, cool day at Great Swamp NWR on Saturday. Insect life was particularly subdued; it is almost December, after all. I saw a fly and heard a cricket. Sympetrum vicinumThere were a few Autumn Meadowhawks (Sympetrum vicinum), though, and presumably they are eating something. Above is a male.Sympetrum vicinumHere’s a a female, not nearly as autumnally red.Sympetrum vicinumOne of her hind wings is missing a chunk. Here she perches on my pants.

The Sympetrum are late season fliers, and boy, even in this record-breakingly — every month is now record-breaking — warm month, is it late.


SympetrumInsects are becoming fewer and far between now that autumn is upon us. One of the last dragonfly species to be seen are the Sympetrum Meadowhawks, red-bodied and small.There were a few active at midday on Friday at the NYBG.Sympetrum


Tramea lacerataThe remains of a Black Saddlebags (Tramea lacerata), narrowly missed on the sidewalk.

Autumn Meadowhawk

Sympetrum vicinumAn immature or teneral male Sympetrum vicinum in Green-Wood. Sympetrum vicinumWhen mature, this small dragonfly will be a beautiful shade of red, and a representative of one of the few dragonfly species to be seen locally into October. The yellow-legs will stay this color: an alternate common name is Yellow-legged Meadowhawk. Sympetrum vicinumHaving recently emerged from its larval stage, probably in the nearby Valley Water, this young adult had to harden up its exoskeleton and wings before flying. It’s probably still getting used to flight, and was very nonchalant about my phone pointing at it.The teneral stage lasts about a week as the animal gets its mature coloring. Here’s what they look like mature.

Painted Skimmer

Libellula semifasciataLibellula semifasciata.

Last Dragonfly

dragonflyI took this picture through a window and at some distance. This was actually a sculptural element on the wall of a florist’s. But the two-foot wingspan reminded me of the ancient dragonflies. The extinct Meganeura genus, preserved in some pretty spectacular fossils, had wingspans up to 25″ (65 cm) around 300 million years ago.


Anax juniusCommon Green Darner, Anax junius.


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