A Close Look at a Common Whitetail Dragonfly

Female Common Whitetail Dragonfly

Female Common Whitetail Dragonfly

My husband found a dead female Common Whitetail dragonfly and brought it inside so we could share close looks.   As the name suggests, this dragonfly is readily seen at this time of year throughout much of the country, but it was fascinating to have a chance to examine this strikingly beautiful insect at such close range.   Common Whitetails (Plathemis lydia) are also called Long-tailed Skimmers, the name “Whitetail” derived from the appearance of the male, which has an eye-catching white tail in maturity.  They are members of the order Odonata which also encompasses Damselflies.  They have excellent eyesight, eating mosquitos and other small insects, usually hawking from perches near a body of water.  The males are territorial, defending territories of 30 to 50 foot stretches of shoreline.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: