Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Variegated Meadowhawk

We did not see many dragonflies on our trip to Olympia. September is a bit late for these insects. We did find a few, including several dozen Variegated Meadowhawks feeding in the grass around the Badlands National Park headquarters in South Dakota.

Variegated Meadowhawks are among our most common dragonflies. They are found across North America, from souther Canada to northern Mexico. They are thought to be migrants. They appear to fly southeast from the western United States. In some areas of the south, they are absent in the summer.  In other areas, they are year-round residents, but may be more abundant in the spring and fall. Mass flights have been observed. They fly in a great variety of habitats.

When I posted the lower photo in a dragonfly FaceBook page, some readers wondered if the abdomen was correctly colored—it seemed too blue. I figure this is but an extreme individual. These photos are both females—males are more red. The first photo is more typically colored.

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