Sunday, September 11, 2011

Dot-tailed Whiteface

Dragon watching is similar in many ways to birdwatching. With odonates there are fieldmarks that help you identify which genus the dragon is and which species, males and females are often different colors, and habitat has a lot to do with where you find certain species. These three things are also true with birding.
The field markings on this particular skimmer dragonfly are very telling. This dragonfly is almost all black except for the small yellow dot on the back of the abdomen and the bright white face. So if you put the field marks together you will get a dot-tailed whiteface which is what this dragonfly is called. Another similarity between dragons and birds is that they are often very seasonal. The dot-tailed whiteface is a dragonfly that you often see very early in the year, usually starting in May here in Minnesota, but you do not see many of them come August. One glaring difference between birds and odonates is that it does not really work to put up dragon feeders.


Guy said...


I appreciated your dragonfly posts. I have been seeing lots of dragonflies this year and I enjoy trying to identify them.


Gretchen said...

Great shots... and love how you compare dragon watching with birdwatching. Never thought about it, but makes total sense!

Teresa said...

That would be cool if you could set up dragon feeders. Love the shots, and you always amaze me with how much you know about these interesting little creatures.

Gypsy Lala said...

Never seen such a special color of dragonfly. Great capture.