The Ode Season

Top Photo: Female blue corporal clinging to siding of restroom building at Cafe Plaza.

Odes* are finally being seen around campus. At least four species are confirmed, blue corporal, lancet clubtail, green darner, and common whitetail.

Both blue corporal and lancet clubtail are early season species and make brief appearances each spring.

Blue corporals prefer still water but can occasionally be found around slow streams and rivers. They typically perch on or near the ground. However, the one pictured was high up on the wood siding of a building here at the Museum of Life + Science campus.

Female blue corporal perched high up on wall.

Lancet clubtails are also early season odes. Unlike other clubtails they are most often found around lakes and ponds. Like the blue corporal above they are more likely to be seen perched on the ground or on low vegetation.

Male lancet clubtail.

Green darner and common whitetail can be seen here through summer and into fall. The darner is both migratory and resident throughout the state and found in many different habitats. It prefers still waters.

Male green darner.

Common whitetail is widespread and seen at a variety of habitats, where there’s water, there’s probably a common whitetail. The one pictured here is a teneral** male. It has recently crawled out of the water and found a suitable structure to secure itself to, split open its larval exoskeleton and pushed itself out and onto the substrate where its wings and abdomen expanded and are now drying.

After several hours it will acquire the white pruinose abdomen and black and white wing markings of a mature adult male common whitetail.

Teneral male common whitetail.

The ode season is just beginning.


*ode is short for Odonata, the order in which dragonflies and damselflies reside.

**teneral is that stage where an insect has just crawled out of its larval skin, its exoskeleton and wings still soft and of immature coloration.

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