Dragonflies of Fuller Pond

Last weekend I spent a few hours watching dragonflies hunting over Fuller Pond. Back at home, with my scribbled notes, some decent pictures I captured, and the library's copy of A Field Guide to the Dragonflies and Damselflies of Massachusetts, I was able to identify most of the winged creatures I found.

The largest dragonfly I saw was the Common Green Darner (Anax junius).  I couldn't find one perched for a photo, but several kindly hovered near me so I could observe them with my binoculars.  Their all green abdomens and large size make them quick to pick out.  They seemed to spend much of their time chasing other dragonflies from their airspace.

The second most visible was the Slaty Skimmer (Libellula incesta). I found numerous males perched on small dead twigs and pond-side vegetation -- making them accessible to photograph. They are a bit smaller than Common Green Darners and the male has a distinctive all dark-blue body.

Photo of Slaty Skimmer (male)
Slaty Skimmer (male)

Male and female Blue Dashers (Pachydiplax longipennis) were also on the pond. They perched in similar locations to the Slaty Skimmers.  Side by side, the Blue Dashers were noticeably smaller.

Photo of Blue Dasher (female)
Blue Dasher (female)

Further from shore, I watched several red-tinged Eastern Amberwings (Perithemis tenera) hunting close to the water and landing frequently on emergent plants.

Photo of Eastern Amberwing
Eastern Amberwing (male)

Along the shore, I noticed this female Eastern Pondhawk (Erythemis simplicicollis) perched vertically on a yellowed-leaf of Climbing Nightshade (Solanum dulcamara).

Photo of Eastern Pondhawk (female)
Eastern Pondhawk (female)

But the award for daintiest creature on Fuller Pond goes to a damselfly that I found resting on a small twig poking out of the water.  Unlike dragonflies, damselflies typically hold their wings back over their bodies when at rest.

Photo of Damselfly
Damselfly

Amazing little creatures they are.

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