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Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Of Blue Darners and Common Whitetails

Of Blue Darners and Common Whitetails

This summer, I was inspired to learn about and identify different dragonflies.  A few years ago, I got a handy brochure from ODNR on them, and I found it when I was cleaning.

Ohio has 164 different species of dragonflies and damselflies.  That’s a lot.  Kevin and I have been trying to learn the names of the ones we see.  

They are hard to identify because they don’t always want to stay still enough for us to get a good look at them.

At my house, the Ebony Jewelwing is very common.  They like creeks, and I find them in large groups along my creek.  They are easy to identify because of their bright green bodies with black  wings.  They are also very docile.  I can easily get them to land on my dog’s outstretched leash by just positioning it beneath one.

Another common one by my house and all over, really, is the Common Whitetail.  It is a super easy one to identify with it’s white body.  I see it even away from water.

Down at the swamp across the creek, I was able to identify a pretty red one called the Ruby Meadowhawk.

When we were at the Rocky River Nature Center the other day, we had a field day in dragonfly hunting.  There are several swamps there.  One of them had loads of Common Whitetails.  They were fun to watch.  They actually appeared to be defending their territories.  If another one came near, they would chase it away and then return to it’s spot.

THere was also a large light blue one with a green head that flew very fast.  Unfortunately, i already forgot its name.  We were able to identify it on a poster at the Nature Center, but we didn’t write it down.  It’s not in my brochure.

There were a lot of Widow Skimmers  They are black with one white spot on each wing.

When were were standing by some HIbiscus, we saw some small blue bodied ones with clear wings and blue heads.  This turned out to be the blue darner.  They will sit on a plant and wait for prey to come to it, rather than fly around like a bat looking for prey.

I’m glad Kevin is enjoying this endeavor, too.  

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