Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Common Whitetail

On 4 June I discovered this female Common Whitetail in Erika's garden.  Identification depends on the wavy yellow line down the dragonfly's abdomen and the black wing bands.  The next day I found a male along the shore of the small pond near the entrance to Carleton's lower arboretum.  Adult males, like the one in the photo below, show a striking powdery, white abdomen, which is used in territorial displays.
Common Whitetials are found over much of North America and south into Mexico. They usually feed near water, and prey upon a variety of small flying insects. The nymphs, which are often abundant, are an important link in aquatic food chains. They feed upon aquatic insect larvae, crayfish, tadpoles and minnows but, in turn, are eaten by fish, frogs, and waterbirds.

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