Dragonflies & Damselflies
Halloween Pennant (L) & Widow Skimmer
Commom Whitetail - male
"ODES" - Dragonflies and Damselflies
Odes, short for the order Odonata, is the order of
insects containing the dragonflies and their smaller
relatives, the damselflies.
They are fascinating aerial predators, eating mostly other
insects, and come in a dazzling array of shapes and colors.
They are enjoying a popularity never before known,
and as a result we are learning lots more about them.
There are now field guides out about dragonflies,
much like bird field guides with photos and range maps
so regular people like you and me can identify many of
them the first time we see them.
There are also many great websites available with
a tremendous amount of information on them, so
even without a book, you can ID what you see.
Hopefully the photos here will serve that purpose
to some degree as we get the local species up.
Find some binoculars that focus closely, and
you'll be amazed the detail and marks you can see
on the dragons. You can ID most of them easily.
You may need a net to learn damselflies though.
Like butterflies, most odes like the heat of the day,
and are the perfect diversion when birding slows
down mid-day. Since they live a year or two mostly,
as larvae underwater, areas with water are usually
the best place to look for them. Most only live
as flying adults for weeks or months.
Some migrate tremendous distances!
It's best if you visit some of the fantastic Ode sites
out there to see good pictures of all of them.
(Not the fuzzy junk seen here). And get a copy of
"Dragonflies through Binoculars," by Sid Dunkle!
Using the tool bar at the top of this page, or the link box
you'll get to scrolling down below you can see other pages here
with dragon or damsel photos, a list of what I've found here,
some news and notes about them, and a page with new records.
Argia cuprea (Coppery Dancer)
Special thanks to Tony Gallucci, Greg Lasley
Tom Langschied, Dr. John Abbott, and Dennis Paulson
for help in identifying some of these beasts.
I am grateful! ID errors on this site are the sole fault
of the author dingbat, me. :):)