Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Dragonfly Lifer #1: Variegated Meadowhawk

I've always had a casual interest in dragonflies, perhaps because they share certain traits with birds. However, this interest usually only involved snapping a few photos of dragonflies and then wondering what they were. That has changed.

For Christmas I received a copy of Dragonflies and Damselflies of California by Tim Manolis. Now I'll be able to put a name on some of those dragonflies! Unfortunately, adult dragonflies aren't out and about in December (they're all dead!), so I'll have to wait until next year to crack out the book. Or so I thought.

While birding at Santiago Oaks Regional Park this morning I spotted a medium-sized reddish dragonfly streaking around the open area near the Villa Park Dam. Very few dragonflies can survive this late into the season, and the majority of the ones that do are Variegated Meadowhawks (Sympetrum corruptum). I snapped some photos and checked my book when I arrived home - yup, Variegated Meadowhawk.

I know I've seen plenty of other species, and have even identified several. Tough. I'm going to have to find them again to count for my "official" list. I'll try to remember to post each one, so keep your eyes open starting in the spring!


Birdnerdguy said...

Neil, as you probably know, I only got interested in dragonflies last fall. Fortunately, I had always taken photos of dragonflies I had seen before, though I didn't know what most of them were at the time. Going through these photos, I found a picture of a Pale Snaketail (Ophiogomphus severus) from Modoc County!

Neil Gilbert said...

Yeah, I'm just copying you. As usual.