Thursday, May 23, 2013

Variegated Meadowhawk

Last weekend, John Holden and I attended the South Dakota Ornithologists’ Union meeting in Mobridge, South Dakota. We saw lots of birds, but this post is about my first dragonfly of the season—a Variegated Meadowhawk on 19 May 2013! This species was my first Odonate last year too, when I obtained my 2012 Variegated Meadowhawk on 20 April in Rice Co., Minnesota. That this dragonfly was the first of the season two years in a row may not be that coincidental. The species is a long-range migrant, often appearing before local populations emerge. It winters in Florida, the Gulf Coast, and warmer, southern states, south into Mexico and Central America.

The yellow spots on the thorax and the complex pattern on the abdomen make the Variegated Meadowhawk relatively easy to classify. Although odonates can be more difficult to identify, the rewards can be satisfying. In this case, even though Variegated Meadowhawks are found across the United States, southern Canada and northern Mexico, this record is a first from Walworth County, South Dakota.

1 comment:

  1. Congrats on your first dragonfly of the season, Dan! And a county record, too. Very nice!