St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge in the Florida panhandle. This visit was our third, over the years, to this refuge. We listed 44 species of birds, but the high point of the visit was this dragonfly along the nature trail at the refuge headquarters. The ode landed in front of us, and a frustrated Erika almost gave up trying to direct me to its perch.
We had no trouble identifying this dragonfly. One of the refuge staff asked what we had seen. I replied, “Look at this dragonfly. At home I would identify it as a corporal because of the two bars on the back of the thorax.” We began our search with the corporals.
We quickly found Blue Corporal. Beaton writes, “…impossible to miss when present, perching horizontally on or near the ground…” This individual is a female. Males are mostly blue. This species is one of the early emerging and common dragonflies in the southeast (Paulson).