Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Western Pondhawk

The second of my Washington, “target species” dragonflies that I recognized on our 14 July 2015, McLane Creek Nature Trail hike was this Western Pondhawk. This dragonfly is similar to the Eastern Pondhawk in the bottom photograph. Westerns, however, lack white ends to abdomen, which also has a slightly different shape. Pondhawks have a unique lime-green color. Males, as they age, like those in both these photos, become blue.

Western Pondhawks are common from British Columbia into Mexico. They often perch on the ground or horizontally on low or floating vegetation. Unlike their eastern cousins, Western Pondhawks prefer preying upon damselflies rather than dragonflies (Paulson). (See my 2011 post for a photo of a dragonfly-eating Eastern Pondhawk.)

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