Odes Emerge from Below

Dragonflies are beginning to emerge from their watery habitats within the Wetlands. On Saturday (4/9) I saw both male and female Common Whitetails (Plathemis lydia).

A male Common Whitetail. The species is named for the male’s white “tail” (abdomen). They are also very common, in a variety of habitats.
The less colorful female of the Common Whitetail. Note the three dark spots on each wing.

I also saw a large gray-brown dragonfly on the Dinosaur Trail on Tuesday (4/12) but was not able to put a name on it. If I were to bet on its identity, I’d bet Gray Petaltail (Tachopteryx thoreyi). A Gray Petaltail would be a first for the Museum, but I didn’t see it well enough to nail it down. I’ll check to see if I can find it again today (4/13) as they often have favorite perches which they return to with some regularity. Curiously, it didn’t perch while I watched it for several minutes yesterday.

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