Sunday, October 16, 2011

Elusive Clubtail

While I was out photographing last Sunday at Wild River State Park I was surprised to see a clubtail dragonfly perch on a stick on the side of the trail. Wild River is one of my most reliable places to see clubtail dragonflies but usually that is in May and June. Most clubtails over winter in one of the later nymph instar phases so they typically emerge early in the year. This is the first time that I spotted one in October.
Fortunately I had my net with me in case I came across any darner dragonflies, they fly later in the year, and I was able to catch the dragon. When I got back to my car I checked in my Dragonflies of the NorthWoods book by Kurt Mead and found that there was only one clubtail listed that was known to fly into October in Minnesota and that was the elusive clubtail. This made the job of identifying the dragon quite easy, but the black on the upper part of the face and the pattern of top spots and side spots also fit. The elusive club typically perches on the tops of trees so I was fortunate that this late season specimen was down where I could photograph and net him. This was my first elusive clubtail.

16 comments:

Trish ~ ♥ ~ said...

Earlier in the summer we had many of the dragonflies around but since we had the first frost I haven't seen them. I spend lots of time iding birds and butterflies. One day I'll start with on the dragonflies.

Genie said...

Your blog never ceases to utterly amaze me. You are so full of knowledge, and if you do not know something for sure you know just where to look it up. We have a friend like you, and it is such a treat going hiking with him. We always learn something new about rock, plants, trees, and birds. This was a fabulous find on your part. Know you we're thrilled. Love that you take your net with you. What a great idea. Genie

Linda Makiej said...

STUNNING macro shots!

GrandmaK said...

Amazing!!!!! Just amazing! Thank you! Cathy

One said...

Gorgeous shots of the elusive clubtail dragonfly. The second one is definitely a stunner. I am impressed with your knowledge too. I have lots of dragonflies here and I enjoy capturing their photos.

em said...

Wow! What great macros! The second photo is amazing!!

Teresa said...

Great shots! That second one is amazing!

Annelie said...

Wow, wow, are the words for these photos!

namaki said...

What magnificent blue eyes ! Great shots !!

Jeannelle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jeannelle said...

Both great shots! I echo others in saying the second on is amazing. You ought to submit it to a scientific journal or something.

Lauri said...

Fabulous work. I had a peek around your blog, your work is stunning.

Ida said...

Those eyes almost look as if they are boring into you. What a great capture.

Shanna said...

Beautiful shot. So blessed to get one of those creatures to sit still for you!

Kala said...

What beautiful eyes this creature has!

Happy MM

Firas said...

Great depth in these shots leaves me awe-inspiring!