HOWARD COUNTY DAMSELFLIES AND DRAGONFLIES

Photos from Field Work in Howard County 1996–present
Halloween Pennant (male)
Halloween Pennant (M) by Annette Allor
SpeciesCaption

Dragonflies and damselflies are not only beautiful, but are masters of the air. Because part of their life history involves water, their presence can be an indicator of the health of these environments.

Species that have been verified in Howard County, MD, are pictured below. Richard Orr, state odonate compiler, has verified identifications (some from specimens; others from multiple photographs—not all of which are posted). See Acknowledgments for data contributors.

Click on one of the major group names to go to that section OR on a specific name to go directly to that species. For a particular species, click on the common name for more information about that species in Howard County or click on the thumbnail to go to a page with more photos of that species.

Download a PDF file with dates when species have been seen in Howard County and a phenogram for each species.

There is a photo gallery Life History of Odonates at the end of the section of photos.

GO TO THUMBNAILS
36GrayPetaltail-P1060152 (118K)
Gray Petaltail



Damselflies (Zygoptera)

Broad-winged Damsels

Spreadwings

Pond/RiverDamsels


Dragonflies (Anisoptera)

Petaltail

Darners

Clubtails

Spiketails

Cruisers

Emeralds

Skimmers



Damselflies (Zygoptera)

Broad-winged Damsels Calopterygidae

Ebony Jewelwing
Calopteryx maculata
M: 1.5-2.2" F: 1.6-2.1"
11 May — 21 Sep
Common
Habitat: Shaded or partly shaded forested sections of rivers and streams; adults at rapids. Perches horizontally.
EBJE1

Male
May 17, 2012
Dorsey Search
Annette Allor

EBJE2

Female
June 8, 2004
Font Hill Park
June Tveekrem


American Rubyspot
Hetaerina americana
M: 1.6–1.8" F: 1.5–1.8"
5 Jun — 23 Oct
Uncommon
Habitat: Gently flowing rivers w/ vegetation (especially willows) on banks; exposed (sunlit) riffles, avoids swift currents. Perches horizontally. Flies 12–20 inches above water.
AMRU1

Male
August 3, 2012
Patuxent Branch Trail
Allen Lewis

AMRU2

Female
June 24, 2013
David Force WMA
Bonnie Ott

Spreadwings Lestidae

Great Spreadwing
Archilestes grandis
M: 2.0–2.4" F: 2.0–2.4"
2 Sep — 13 Nov
Uncommon
Habitat: Usually found perched on overhanging tree branches along slow-moving forested streams w/ silt substrate; ponds. Adaptable to a number of habitats (including degraded waters).


GRSP1

Male
November 1, 2004
Centennial Park
June Tveekrem

GRSP2

Female
September 4, 2004
Wesley Lane
June Tveekrem

Southern Spreadwing
Lestes australis
M: 1.4–1.8" F: 1.5–1.7"
12 Apr — 31 Oct
Common
Habitat: Sand-bottomed lakes; temporary/semi-permanent ponds. Permanent waters w/ abundant emergent vegetation; marshy/boggy ponds, swamps, slow streams. Most active around 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Adults perch on emergent vegetation in wetlands or nearby grassy fields, making short slow flights.
SOSP1

Male and Female (ovipositing)
April 27, 2006
Schooley Mill Park
June Tveekrem

SOSP2

Female ovipositor (lateral)
August 1, 2012
Meadowbrook Park
Bonnie Ott

Spotted Spreadwing
Lestes congener
M: 1.3–1.7" F: 1.2–1.5"
26 Jul — 17 Nov
Uncommon
Habitat: Permanent/temporary ponds, including stagnant water. Flies in wetlands or fields adjacent to highly vegetated lake/pond shores.



SPSP1

Male
June 9, 2013
West Friendship Park (Fox Chase)
Bonnie Ott

SPSP2

Female
June 9, 2013
West Friendship Park (Fox Chase)
Bonnie Ott

Amber-winged Spreadwing
Lestes eurinus
M: 1.7–2.1" F: 1.7–1.9"
8 Jun — 4 Aug
Uncommon
Habitat: Vegetated ponds. Perches on rushes. Bogs, boggy pond/lake margins. Shallow ponds.


AWSP1

Female (top) and Male
June 22, 1996
Manor Woods E.S.
Bob Solem

AWSP2

Male (appendages - dorsal)
October 4, 1997
Gateway Business Park
Bob Solem

Sweetflag Spreadwing
Lestes forcipatus
M: 1.4–1.7" F: 1.3–1.6"
20 Jul — 26 Sep
Uncommon
Habitat: Permanent reedy ponds/temporary pools w/ seasonally-fluctuating water levels/emergent vegetation. Bog, lake/pond edges; tolerates seasonal water draw down. Adults fly slowly in and out of emergent vegetation along shore.
SWSP1

Male & Female
June 22, 2013
Meadowbrook Park
Bonnie Ott

SWSP2

Female (ovipositor)
August 15, 1997
Stevens Road
Bob Solem

Elegant Spreadwing
Lestes inequalis
M: 1.8–2.3" F: 1.8–2.3"
9 Jul [one record]
Uncommon
Habitat: Permanent ponds/lakes w/ abundance of emergent vegetation, slow streams. Perches in shade during day, becomes active near sundown; flies over open water.

ELSP1

Male
July 9, 1997
Gorman NRA
Bob Solem

ELSP2

Male
July 9, 1997
Gorman NRA
Bob Solem

Slender Spreadwing
Lestes rectangularis
M: 1.7–2.1" F: 1.5–1.9"
18 May — 17 Oct
Uncommon
Habitat: Shaded wetlands; swamps, mucky ponds, brooks. Perches in shore vegetation or in woodlands/shrubbery in complete shade. Immatures often not at breeding habitat.
SLSP1

Male
July 1, 2011
Manor Woods E.S.
Richard Orr

SPSP2

Female
June 14, 2013
Mount Pleasant
Bonnie Ott

Swamp Spreadwing
Lestes vigilax
M: 1.7–2.2" F: 1.7–2.0"
5 Jun — 4 Sep
Uncommon
Habitat: Vegetated shorelines of bog-edged ponds or slow-moving streams. When not ovipositing, females are usually in forested areas away from sunlight.
SWAS1

Male
July 28, 2012
Dickey Farm
Wes Earp

SWAS2

Female
August 19, 2012
Dunteachin Farm
Bonnie Ott

Pond/River Damsels Coenagrinidae

Eastern Red Damsel
Amphiagrion saucium
M: 0.9-1.1" F: 1.0-1.1"
10 May — 23 Jul
Uncommon
Habitat: Grasses/sedges. Sunlit grassy seeps, small sunny streams w/ springs, springy bogs at base of hills. Adults fly near ground within shelter of vegetation, not over open fields or water.
EARD1

Male
June 4, 2013
Daniels Road, PVSP
Bonnie Ott

EARD2

Female
May 11, 2013
Rockburn Branch Park
Bonnie Ott

Blue-fronted Dancer
Argia apicalis
M: 1.3-1.6" F: 1.3-1.5"
1 Jun — 17 Oct
Common
Habitat: Sunny sections of streams, rivers, ponds. Male often perches on exposed sunlit logs or branches protruding form the river. Alights on bare ground.
BFDA1

Male
July 19, 2009
Vantage Point, Columbia
June Tveekrem

BFDA2

Female
July 31, 1997
Old Frederick Road, PVSP
Bob Solem

Seepage Dancer
Argia bipunctual
M: 1.0-1.2" F: 1.0-1.2"
10 Jun — 23 Aug
Very local
Habitat: Sunlit bogs; small populations at small sunlit seepages. Small lakes/ponds. Marshy edges and wet grassy areas. Almost never perches on ground.
SEDA1

Male
September 21, 2013
Rockburn Branch Park
Bonnie Ott

SEDA2

M and F (tandem)
June 5, 2013
Elkridge
Bonnie Ott

Variable (Violet) Dancer
Argia fumipennis violacea
M: 1.1-1.3" F: 1.3"
22 Apr — 8 Oct
Common
Habitat: Most abundant along streams. Edges of lakes, ponds/bogs. Rocky lotic waters/small lakes. Adults prefer sunny spots on or near ground for resting horizontally (distinctive of this genus). Wary/quick to fly when approached.
VIDA1

Male
August 5, 2012
Oakland Mills
Allen Lewis

VIDA2

Male and Female (in wheel)
August 23, 2008
Blooms Lane
June Tveekrem

Powdered Dancer
Argia moesta
M: 1.5-1.7" F: 1.5-1.7"
30 May — 26 Sep
Common
Habitat: Extensive sunlit sections of large rivers/swift streams; gravel bars in full sun. Lakes. Rocky shores of lentic waters. Perches horizontally on ground, rocks, or sticks, frequently flying over open water. Fairly tolerant of polluted waters.
PODA1

Male
June 23, 2012
Patapsco River
Kathy Litzinger

PODA2

Female
June 4, 2006
Patapsco River
June Tveekrem

Blue-tipped Dancer
Argia tibialis
M: 1.2-1.5" F: 1.2-1.5"
Jun — 9 Sep
Abundant
Habitat: Rivers w/ rapids or riffles. To lesser extent along partly shaded streams. Lone individuals often found away from water or in other aquatic habitats. Perches on vegetation and in shade more than most other Argia species, but also perches on ground.
BTDA1

Male
June 16, 2002
Wincopin Trail
June Tveekrem

BTDA2

Female
July 23, 2012
Lake Elkhorn
Allen Lewis

Dusky Dancer
Argia translata
M: 1.3-1.5"
2 Jun — 11 Sep
Widespread
Habitat: Rivers, slow streams w/ shady banks/large stones in streams, ponds; prefers shade/dense vegetation. Clear streams w/ rocky substrate. Not away from water as much as other Argias. Usually uncommon, occasionally abundant.
DUDA1

Male
July 28, 2012
Savage Park
Richard Orr

DUDA2

Female
July 31, 1997
Old Frederick Road, PVSP
Bob Solem

Aurora Damsel
Chromagrion conditum
M: 1.3-1.5" F: 1.2-1.5"
30 May — 9 Jul
Uncommon
Habitat: Widespread but local, in swamps, spring-fed shady streams, small ponds especially where soil is mucky; mouths of spring-fed tributaries; rarely away from water. Perches near top of emergent vegetation w/ wings half spread like a Lestes. Flight slow and brief.
AUDA1

Male
May 31, 1997
Gaterway Business Park
Bob Solem

200X200
Azure Bluet
Enallagma aspersum
M: 1.1-1.3" F: 1.1-1.3"
10 May — 13 Oct
Common
Habitat: Ponds, bog-margined lakes, marshes usually without fish. Perches horizontally or obliquely on foliage, only occasionally making low brief flights.

AZBL1

Male
June 9, 2013
West Friendship Park (Fox Chase)
Bonnie Ott

AZBL2

Female
July 3`, 1997
Old Frederick Road
Richard Orr

Double-striped Bluet
Enallagma basidens
M: 0.8-1.1" F: 0.8-1.1"
10 May — 17 Oct
Uncommon
Habitat: Ponds, especially freshly created ones w/ sparse vegetation. Reservoirs, borrow (gravel) pits, lakes, slow streams/rivers, especially spring-fed streams. Widespread but intermittent.

DSBL1

Male
March 17, 2007
South Trotter Road
Wes Earp

DSBL2

Female
May 25, 1997
Warfields Pond Park
Bob Solem

Familiar Bluet
Enallagma civile
M: 1.2-1.5" F: 1.1-1.4"
20 Apr — 11 Nov
Uncommon
Habitat: Still or slow-moving water; rare on rivers. Common in newly formed sediment ponds, temporary or permanent waters, vegetated or not. Peak activity in late a.m. into afternoon; leaves water in late afternoon. Forages in flight by gleaning perched insects from vegetation.
FABL1

Male
November 19, 2001
Howard County
June Tveekrem

FABL2

Female (ovipositing)
April 21, 20127
Fox Chase
Bonnie Ott

Turquoise Bluet
Enallagma divigans
M: 1.1-1.3" F: 1.2-1.4"
15 Jun — 8 Jul
Rare
Habitat: Streams, sloughs, lakes. Perches in sun or shade on foliage. Prefers running water, hovers frequently.


TUBL1

Male (left) and Female
June 15, 1996
Patuxent River State Park
Bob Solem

200X200
Stream Bluet
Enallagma exulans
M: 1.2-1.5" F: 1.1-1.4"
17 May — 24 Aug
Abundant
Habitat: Sun-loving bluet of rivers/lakes. Hovers near bank.






STBL1

Male
June 18, 2013
David Force WMA
Bonnie Ott

STBL2

Female (blue form)
May 17, 2012
Mount Pleasant
Bonnie Ott

Skimming Bluet
Enallagma geminatum
M: 0.9-1.1" F: 0.7-1.1"
11 May — 5 Oct
Common
Habitat: Most abundant at ponds but found in various aquatic habitats in fertile, well-oxygenated lakes, ponds, slow parts of streams—usually swampy or boggy with floating vegetation/ample shoreline vegetation. Often rests on floating vegetation (like water lilies), 6 a.m.-3 p.m. Skims slowly and gracefully over water very close to surface.


SKBL1

Male
June 12, 2013
Meadowbrook Park
Bonnie Ott

SKBL2

Male and Female (in tandem)
June 12, 2005
Howard County
June Tveekrem

Orange Bluet
Enallagma signatum
M: 1.1-1.4" F: 1.1-1.5"
2 May — 14 Oct
Common
Habitat: Widespread in various still or slow-flowing aquatic habitats. Forested ponds/slow-moving streams. Peak activity late in day. On warm, sunny days, species is semicrepuscular; on cloudy or cool days, male may be active throughout day. In summer, arrives about 4 p.m. w/ peak activity at 7 p.m.; leaves water shortly after sundown. Spring/fall, arrives at water earlier in afternoon. Hovers 2–8 inches over midstream, occasionally perches on vegetation. Often in association w/ water lilies.
ORBL1

Male
May 24, 2008
Schooley Mill Park
June Tveekrem

ORBL2

Male and Female (in wheel)
May 27, 2012
Meadowbrook Park
Bonnie Ott

Slender Bluet
Enallagma traviatum
M: 1.1-1.3" F: 1.2-1.3"
2 Jun — 25 Jul
Uncommon
Habitat: Shady ponds, usually w/ abundant emergent vegetation; very slow-moving streams. Stays mostly at pond edges.
SLBL1

Male
June 24, 1997
Pigtail, Triadelphia Reservoir
Bob Solem

SLBL2

M and F (ovipositing under water)
June 13, 2013
Meadowbrook Park
Bonnie Ott



Vesper Bluet
Enallagma vesperum
M: 1.1-1.5" F: 1.2-1.5"
14 Jun — 24 Sept
Uncommon
Habitat: Ponds/marshes (marsh-bordered lakes), slow streams w/ abundant emergent/floating vegetation. Semicrepuscular (not flying in forenoon; most active in late afternoon, sometimes not active until dusk). Rests in white pines. Flies close to water surface.
VEBL1

Male
September 24, 2003
Centennial Park
June Tveekrem

200X200
Citrine Forktail
Ischnura hastata
M: 0.8-1.0" F: 0.8-1.1"
15 Apr — 1 Nov
Uncommon
Habitat: Thick emergent sedge, rush, or grassy sunlit areas where water is shallow and warm. Tops of emergent vegetation within the dense concentration of stems. Associated w/ stands of Eleocharis.
CIFO1

Male
August 1, 2012
Fox Chase
Bonnie Ott

CIFO2

Female
April 20, 2003
River Hill H.S.
June Tveekrem


Lilypad Forktail
Ischnura kellicotti
M: 1.3-1.3" F: 1.0-1.2"
15 May — 14 Sep
Uncommon
Habitat: Ponds; seldom away from fairly large patches of white or yellow water lilies.
LPFO1

Male
September 8, 2012
Centennial Park
Bonnie Ott

LPFO2

Female (immature)
July 25, 2012
Centennial Park
Jo Solem

Fragile Forktail
Ischnura posita posita
M: 0.9-1.1" F: 0.8-1.1"
3 Apr — 7 Nov
Abundant
Habitat: Various aquatic habitats, still or slowly moving waters, partially shaded areas w/ thick vegetation. Tolerant of low oxygen levels.
FRFO1

Male
July 3,2005
Fulton Schools
Richard Orr

FRFO2

Female
April 29, 2012
Centennial Park
Annette Allor

Rambur's Forktail
Ischnura ramburii
M: 1.1-1.5" F: 1.1-1.4"
5 Jul – 9 Sep
Rare
Habitat: Still or slow-moving water.

RAFO1

Male
September 9, 2012
Centennial Park
Bonnie Ott

RAFO2

Female
September 9, 2012
Centennial Park
Bonnie Ott

Eastern Forktail
Ischnura verticalis
M: 0.8-1.3" F: 1.0-1.3"
8 Apr — 30 Oct
Abundant
Habitat: Widespread on ponds and slow-moving streams w/ abundant emergent vegetation. Adults perch in the shelter of shoreline vegetation or on floating plants. Open sunny areas.
EAFO1

Male
May 14, 2007
Centennial Park
June Tveekrem

EAFO2

Female (maturing)
May 24, 2002
Centennial Park
June Tveekrem

Sphagnum Sprite
Nehalennia gracilis
M: 0.9-1.2" F: 1.0-1.2"
14 Jun — 1 Aug
Very local
Habitat: Sedge bogs w/ emergent vegetation. Inconspicuous because of delicate build and habit of flying low through emergent vegetation.

SPSP1

Male
July 4, 1998
Wesley Lane
Bob Solem

SPSP2

Female
July 4, 1998
Wesley Lane
Bob Solem

Sedge Sprite
Nehalennia irene
M: 1.0-1.1" F: 1.0-1.2"
9 Aug [one record]
Very local.
Habitat: Still marshy or boggy areas w/ emergent vegetation. Avoids open water.

SESP1

Male
August 9, 1997
Gateway Business Park
Bob Solem

SESP2

Male
August 9, 1997
Gateway Business Park
Bob Solem

Dragonflies (Anisoptera)

Petaltails Petaluridae

Gray Petaltail
Tachopyteryx thorei
2.8-3.2"
E-Jun — E-Jul
Rare.
Habitat: Permanent hillside seepages in sunny areas w/ little water in hardwood forests. Tends to land vertically on sunny, gray, dead tree trunks. Known to land on gray clothes.
GRPE1

Male
June 3, 2013
Daniels Road, PVSP
Bonnie Ott

GRPE2

Male
June 7, 2010
Patapsco Valley State Park
Sue Muller

Darners Aeshnidae

Black-tipped Darner
Aeshna tuberculifera
2.8-3.2"
M-Aug — M-Oct
Uncommon.
Habitat: Open ponds, especially acid ones. Cruises over shallow water w/ emergent grasses and rushes in mid to late afternoon.



BLTD1

October 7, 1996
Alpha Ridge Landfill
Bob Solem

BLTD2

October 7, 1996
Alpha Ridge Landfill
Bob Solem

Shadow Darner
Aeshna umbrosa umbrosa
2.7-3.1"
E-Aug — M-Nov
Uncommon.
Habitat: Shaded edges of forests; woodland trails. Variety of pond and stream habitats. Hunts forest edges, dirt roads, clearings. In summer feeds over roads about dusk. When overcast, feeds early morning, mid-late afternoon or evening. Late in season flies during sunny periods.
SHDA3

Female
October 6, 2013
Font Hill Wetland Park
Bonnie Ott
SHDA1

Male
September 14, 2002
Gorman NRA
June Tveekrem

Common Green Darner
Anax junius
2.7-3.2"
M-Mar — E-Nov
Common
Habitat: Wide range of habitats; shallow heavily vegetated ponds/slow streams. Flies early a.m. to dark; often perches low among weeds and grass. A fierce predator; spends most of daylight hours on the wing. Migratory.

COGD1

Male and Female (ovipositing)
March 3, 2012
U of MD Central Farm
Richard Orr

COGD2

Emergence (on exuviae)
September 27, 1997
Alpha Ridge Park
Bob Solem

Comet Darner
Anax longipes
3.0-3.4"
E-May — M-Aug
Uncommon
Habitat: Sometimes on ponds; borrow (sterile, shallow, gravel) pits/semi-permanent, usually grassy, ponds; ample shoreline vegetation of rushes, pickerelweed, etc. Larvae do not seem to compete well w/ other dragonflies or fish. Rarely seen at rest. Does not join feeding swarms.
CODA1

Male
June 4, 2013
Elkhorn Garden Plots
Jim Wilkinson

CODA2

Female (ovipositor)
August 18, 2001
Fulton Schools
Bob Solem

Springtime Darner
Basiaeschna janata
M: 2.0-2.4" F: 2.2-2.6"
E-May — M-Aug
Uncommon
Habitat: Rivers and streams w/ riffles. Eutrophic, sheltered, lentic bodies of water. Flies fast several feet above water or shore. Ranges into forest openings. Often flies in shade/until nightfall.


SPDA1

Male
May 6, 2000
Little Patuxent River
Richard Orr

SPDA2

Female
August 7, 2012
Daniels, PVSP
Bonnie Ott

Fawn Darner
Boyeria vinosa
2.4-2.8"
E-May — E-Nov
Uncommon
Habitat: Widespread on slow-moving rivers & streams w/ rocky substrate; shady edges close to banks; often near rapids. Semi-crepuscular. Male usually seen exploring the edges of rivers or streams, flying close to the surface of the water, and investigating every nook & cranny without hovering. Most of day hangs under twigs in forests (often conifers).
FADA1

Male
August 27, 2013
David Force WMA
Bonnie Ott

FADA2

Female
August 31, 1997
Columbia
Bob Solem

Swamp Darner
Epiaeschna heros
3.2-3.6"
E-Apr — E-Oct
Uncommon
Habitat: Widespread over rivers and open areas; shady ponds and forested swamps; slow streams. Feed from 3' above ground to treetops; perches hanging vertically from high tree branches. Migratory. Forages late afternoon, early evening/dusk.
SWDA1

Male
June 26, 2012
Western Regional Park
Harry Fink

SWDA2

Female
June 13, 2013
Meadowbrook Park
Bonnie Ott

Cyrano Darner
Nasiaeschna pentacantha
2.7-2.9"
E-May — M-Aug
Uncommon
Habitat: Woodland streams, still or slow-moving water; stays close to forests. Perches vertically on trees trunks, etc. Hunts w/ slow flight along/through branches, does not form swarms. Preys on other odonates.

CYDA1

Male
July 3, 1997
Patuxent River State Park
Bob Solem

CYDA2

Female
September 19, 2003
Pigtail, Triadelphia Reservoir
June Tveekrem

Clubtails Gomphidae

Unicorn Clubtail
Arigomphus villosipes
2.0-2.3"
M-May — E-Jul
Uncommon.
Habitat: Ponds (usually) or edges of slow-moving Coastal Plain rivers w/ muddy bottom and little submerged vegetation. Commonly perches on lily pads or muddy banks of slow steams or ponds. Tolerates degraded habitats.
UNCL1

Male
June 24, 2003
Schooley Mill Park
Nancy Magnusson

UNCL2

Exuviae
May 18, 2000
Meadowbrook Park
Jo Solem

Black-shouldered Spinyleg
Dromogomphus spinosus
2.1-2.6"
E-May — E-Sep
Common.
Habitat: Clean rivers and streams (tolerates some pollution); sand substrate. Secretive, flies in woodlands away from breeding areas. Perches on logs and rocks w/ clear view of nearby water. Can occur in degraded habitat.
BSSP1

Male
June 23, 2007
Old Frederick Road, PVSP
June Tveekrem

BSSP2

Female
August 5, 2007
Big Branch, Triadelphia Reservoir
June Tveekrem

Eastern Ringtail
Erpetogomphus designatus
1.7-2.2"
E-May — E-Sep
STRAY.
Habitat: Potomac River (northern limit); feeds at edges of cornfields near river. Shallow rivers and streams w/ gravel or sand bottoms, riffles. Perches on low vegetation along shore on bank or rocks.

EARI1

Male
August 14, 2007
Browns Bridge, Rocky Gorge Reservoir
Hans Holbrook

200X200
Cobra Clubtail
Gomphurus vastus
1.9-2.2"
E-May — L-Jun
Uncommon
Habitat: Larger rivers. Alternating sand/gravel; brush near water's edge. Sun-shade interface, hovers 8–20 inches above water w/ abdomen raised.
COCL1

Male
June 16, 2006
Old Frederick Road, PVSP
Bob Solem/June Tveekrem (photo)

COCL2

Exuvia
June 1, 2013
Old Frederick Road, PVSP
Richard Orr

Dragonhunter
Hagenius brevistylus
3.0-3.4"
E-Jun — M-Sep
Uncommon.
Habitat: Slow-moving rivers; occasionally streams w/ nearby woodlands. May hunt along forest edges.

DRAG1

Male
July 2, 2010
Font Hill Park
Russ Ruffing

DRAG2

Exuviae
Jul 7, 1999
Wincopin Trail
Jo Solem

Appalachian Snaketail
Ophiogomphus i. incurvatus
1.6-2.0"
E-May — E-Jul
Uncommon.
Habitat: Sunlit rapids.


APSN1

Male
June 22, 1999
Font Hill Park
Bob Solem

APSN2

Male
June 11, 2013
MPEA
Bonnie Ott

Lancet Clubtail
Phannogomphus exilis
1.5-1.7", shorter than G. lividus
E-May — E-Jul
Common.
Habitat: Ponds (mostly), streams, open areas; sandy bottomed waters. Rests on ground, logs, or rocks. Flight sometimes like roller-coaster.

LACL1

Male
May 15, 2007
Centennial Park
June Tveekrem

LACL2

Female
June 17, 2006
Marriottsville, PVSP
June Tveekrem

Ashy Clubtail
Phanogomphus lividus
1.8-2.2", longer than G. exilis
E-Apr — E-Jul
Common.
Habitat: Slow rivers, streams w/ mud bottom/in open areas; often lands on ground. Hunts near ground level in forest clearings and fields. Unwary, roller-coaster flight.
ASCL1

Male
May 26, 2013
Henryton Road, PVSP
Richard Orr

ASCL2

Female (teneral)
June 5, 2010
Howard County
Sue Muller

Rapids Clubtail
Gomphus quadricolor
1.7-1.8"
E-Jun — E-Jul
Rare.
Habitat: Rapid streams/rivers w/ projecting rocks. Rests on rocks, tips of vegetation in rapids, or river bank. Silt intolerant. Juveniles often rest on ground or on leaves and broad grasses in sunlight.
RACL1

Male
June 7, 2007
Woodstock, PVSP
June Tveekrem

RACL2

Female
May 28, 2013
Daniels, PVSP
Bonnie Ott

Common Sanddragon
Progomphus obscurus
2.0-2.2"
E-May — E-Aug
Uncommon.
Habitat: Small to medium streams. Adults wander; sometimes found perching from weed tops to treetops far from larval habitats. Predominantly on sandy sections of Patuxent/Little Patuxent Rivers on mud/sandbars. Wary.
COSA1

Male
July 28, 2012
Meadowbrook Park
Phil Perkins

COSA2

Emerging
May 31, 2013
Daniels Road, PVSP
Bonnie Ott

Sable Clubtail
Stenogomphus rogersi
1.9"
L-May — E-Jun
Very Rare.
Habitat: Rocky streams w/ some silt below impoundment. Stream clear/free flowing. Prefers shade.
SACL1

Exuvia
May 28, 2015
Daniels, PVSP
Bonnie Ott

Exuvia identified and photographed
by Richard Orr

200X200
Eastern Clubtail
Stylogomphus albistylus
1.2-1.4"
E-May — E-Jul
Uncommon.
Habitat: Large sunny areas of rivers and streams; shallow riffles w/ rocks in sun; often forages from tree leaves.



ELCL1

Male
June 21, 1998
Patuxent River State Park
Bob Solem

ELCL2

Emerging
May 31, 2013
Daniels Road, PVSP
Bonnie Ott

Laura's Clubtail
Stylurus laurae
2.2-2.5"
E-Jun — E-Sep
Uncommon.
Habitat: Medium rivers and tributaries. 5-7 p.m. in Sept over riffles. Adult male rests on vegetation near swifter parts of slow-moving streams; seems to prefer shade.


LAUC1

Male
July 6, 1998
Woodstock, PVSP
Bob Solem

LAUC2

Female
July 6, 1998
Woodstock, PVSP
Bob Solem

Arrow Clubtail
Stylurus spiniceps
2.1-2.7"
E-Jun — M-Oct
Common.
Habitat: In grasses and willows along banks of rivers or high in treetops. Sand-bottomed areas of medium to fast streams. Flies late in day (4-5 p.m.); likes 90º weather. In middle of river at night or on sand banks.
ARCL1

Male
September 29, 2004
Marriottsville, PVSP
June Tveekrem

ARCL2

Female
October 14, 1997
Old Frederick Road, PVSP
Bob Solem

Spiketails Cordulegastridae

Brown Spiketail
Cordulegaster bilineata
2.3-2.7"
M-May — M-Jun
Uncommon.
Habitat: Seepage areas, streams. Trickles, often sandy or boggy, usually sunny. Forages along sunlit edges of roads/woods. Somewhat wary.

BRSP1

Male
May 28, 2007
Bon Secours
Nancy Magnusson

BRSP2

Male
June 3, 2012
Hugg-Thomas WMA
Bonnie Ott

Tiger Spiketail
Cordulegaster erronea
2.6-3.0"
E-Jun — M-Aug
Rare.
Habitat: Streams and seeps (w/ forest cover). Shaded fast-flowing steams 3' wide, 3" deep with a rocky bottom. Forage late in day to dusk.


TISP1

Male
June 26, 2013
Mount Pleasant
Jim Wilkinson

TISP2

Exuviae
June 23, 2005
Daniels, PVSP
Jo Solem

Twin-spotted Spiketail
Cordulegaster maculata
2.5-3.0"
L-Apr — E-Jul
Rare.
Habitat: Rapid, small to medium-sized woodland streams w/ sand or gravel substrates; feeds along forest edges. Patrols from 9 a.m. to dusk, peak about 6 p.m., flies near surface of water. Perches on weed stems or twigs at oblique angle, usually within 3' of ground.
TSSP1

Male
June 26, 2013
Henryton Road, PVSP
Richard Orr

TSSP2

Female
June 26, 2008
Middle Patuxent Environmental Area
June Tveekrem

Cruisers Macromiidae

Stream Cruiser
Didymops transvera
2.0-2.4"
L-Apr — M-Jun
Common.
Habitat: Rivers and sandy forest streams. Usually flies along edges of river 1-2' above surface. Perches just above the ground. Slower reaches of rivers, stream edges, lakes. Forages low over roads/powerlines. Flies in and out of vegetation.



STCR1

Male
August 21, 2012
High Ridge Park
Annette Allor

STCR2

Female
May 5, 2012
Woodstock (Cavey Lane)
Harry Fink

Swift River Cruiser
Macromia illinoiensis
2.0-2.4"
L-May — L-Aug
Common.
Subspecies and hybrids can only be distinguished in hand!
Habitat: Rivers and streams; rocky, gravel-bottomed creeks and rivers. More active in morning. Forages along forest edges and dirt roads at 3-6'. Late afternoon feeding swarms. M.i. georgina (Georgia River Cruiser): From eastern MD to Piedmont/ Coastal Plain interface. M. i. illinoiensis (Illinois River Cruiser): From western MD to Piedmont/Coastal Plain interface. Hybrids occur in Howard County!
SWCR1

Male
July 2, 2013
Daniels Road, PVSP
Bonnie Ott

SWCR2

Exuviae
July 8, 1999
Gorman NRA
Jo Solem

Emeralds Corduliidae

Prince Baskettail
Epicordulia princeps
2.3-3.1"
E-Jun — L-Aug
Uncommon.
Habitat: Slow-moving rivers, streams, lakes, occasionally ponds; clear or muddy water. Seldom seen perching, but when it does it hangs under a twig, often w/ the wings somewhat raised. May form feeding swarms in the evening. Few wing beats followed by a short sail on slightly raised wings. Dawn to dusk.
PRBA1

Male
June 16, 1997
Patuxent River State Park
Bob Solem

PRBA2

Exuviae
June 19, 2001
Patuxent River State Park
Jo Solem

Umber Shadowdragon
Neurocordulia obsoleta
1.7-1.9"
E-Jun — L-Jul
Rare.
Habitat: Appears on rivers at dusk but before sunset, continues flying into darkness. Flight fast, low over water investigates edge nooks. More common over swift water. Freshly emerged in herbacious vegetation.


UMSH1

Exuvia
June 1, 2013
Old Frederick Road
Richard Orr

UMSH2

Exuvia
May 28, 2015
Daniels
Bonnit Ott

Mocha Emerald
Somatochlora linearis
2.2-2.8"
L-Jun — L-Sep
Uncommon.
Habitat: Usually feeds 7-10 a.m. over roads and clearings at 6-10', but also in forested undergrowth. Deeply shaded intermittent small forest streams w/ shallow riffles. Most active in early morning/late afternoon to dark. Adults may land on shaded tree trunks.

MOEM1

Male
June 6, 2010
North Laurel Park
Sue Muller

MOEM2

Male (appendages)
August 31, 2008
North Laurel Park
June Tveekrem

Clamp-tipped Emerald
Somatochlora tenebrosa
1.9-2.5"
L-Jun — M-Oct
Uncommon.
Habitat: Usually feeds 7-10 a.m. over roads and clearings at 6-10', but also in forested undergrowth. Deeply shaded intermittent small forest streams w/ shallow riffles. Most active in early morning/late afternoon to dark. Adults may land on shaded tree trunks.
CTEM1

Male
June 16, 2003
Gorman NRA
June Tveekrem

CTEM2

Female (exuding eggs)
October 13, 1997
Old Frederick Road, PVSP
Bob Solem

Slender Baskettail
Tetragoneuria costalis
1.4-1.8"
M-Jun — L-Jun
Rare.
Habitat: Clear sand-bottomed lakes; stream pools. Hawks 6-10' above roads; hovers in sunny glades.


SLBA1

Male
June 9, 2001
Western Regional Park
Bob Solem

SLBA2

Male Appendages
June 4, 2013
Daniels Road, PVSP
Bonnie Ott

Common Baskettail
Tetragoneuria cynosura
1.5-1.7"
M-Apr — L-Jun
Abundant.
Habitat: High numbers at edge of dirt road; ponds, swamps, slow-moving sections of streams and rivers; permanent quiet waters. Peak activity in late afternoon. Forages 4-10' over sunny forest openings, fields, and water. Perches obliquely on stems of low vegetation.
COBA1

Male
May 11, 2013
Ellicott City
Bonnie Ott

COBA2

Female
May 15, 2002
Gorman NRA
June Tveekrem

Skimmers Libellulidae

Calico Pennant
Celithemis elisa
1.1-1.3"
M-May — L-Oct
Common.
Habitat: Weedy ponds w/ emergent grass; bulrush beds in fresh, shallow water. Forages from tips of weeds in open fields often far from water.


CAPE1

Male
June 8, 2004
Font Hill Park
June Tveekrem

CAPE2

Female
August 23, 1996
Warfields Pond Park
Bob Solem

Halloween Pennant
Celithemis eponina
1.4-1.7"
M-Jun — L-Sep
Common.
Habitat: Marsh-loving; ponds, lakes/marshes: adults often found in adjacent fields where they feed. Tolerates windy conditions. Most butterfly-like dragonfly; forages from the tips of tall weeds in open fields. Often perches w/ FWs vertical, HWs horizontal on tops of emergent rushes. Active in the morning.
HAPE1

Male
July 25, 2012
Mount Pleasant
Annette Allor

HAPE2

M and F (in wheel)
July 5, 2004
Font Hill Park
June Tveekrem
Banded Pennant
Celithemis fasciata
1.1-1.5"
L-May — E-Sep
Uncommon.
Habitat: Marshes, ponds, new borrow (gravel) pits. Feeds in treetops or high shrubs. Male more active 10 a.m. -noon, spends much time perching on tips of emergent plants near shore. May roost overnight in pine trees.


BAPE1

Male
July 5, 2004
Font Hill Park
June Tveekrem

BAPE2

Male
August 4, 1999
Font Hill Park
Bob Solem

Common Pondhawk
Erythemis simplicicollis
1.4-2.0"
E-May — M-Oct
Abundant.
Habitat: Ponds; quiet weedy or slowly flowing waters, usually w/ plants on water surface. Perches anywhere: on bare ground or twigs/floating trash; roosts overnight in tall weeds or brush.

COPO1

Male
July 1, 2012
Lake Elkhorn
Allen Lewis

COPO2

Female
July 28, 2012
Rockburn Branch Park
Annette Allor

Blue Corporal
Ladona deplanata
1.3-1.5"
M-Apr — L-Jun
Rare.
Habitat: Ponds/gravel pits.; perches on low stems/sloping banks, on ground, or on fallen logs. Both sexes perch w/ wings cocked.


BLCO1

Male
April 25, 2012
Guilford Park
Annette Allor

BLCO2

Female
April 2, 2012
Mount Airy (H.C.)
Wes Earp

Golden-winged Skimmer
Libellula auripennis
2.1-2.3"
L-May — M-Aug
Uncommon.
Nearly impossible to distinguish from Needham's Skimmer (L. neehami) unless you have it in hand! Habitat: Grassy edges of freshwater ponds. Forages in open fields near water. M perches conspicuously but is wary, swift on wing, difficult to approach at rest.
GWSK1

Male
June 1, 1998
Centennial Park
Bob Solem

GWSK2

Male
June 1, 1998
Centennial Park
Bob Solem

Bar-winged Skimmer
Libellula axilena
1.9-2.4"
E-Jun — L-Aug
Uncommon.
Habitat: Temporary pools, marshy edges of ponds. More often in forested habitats than other Libellula.
BWSK1

Male
2002
Howard County
June Tveekrem

BWSK2

Male (immature)
June 3, 2012
Font Hill Park
Bonnie Ott

Spangled Skimmer
Libellula cyanea
1.5-1.9"
E-May — M-Sep
Uncommon.
Habitat: Well-vegetated ponds. Forages in fields. Perches obliquely.

SPSK1

Male
2006
Howard County
June Tveekrem

SPSK2

Female
June 3, 2012
Meadowbrook Park
Bonn

Yellow-sided Skimmer
Libellula flavida
1.7-2.0"
M-Jun — M-Aug
Uncommon.
Habitat: Grassy seeps and sunny bogs w/ sphagnum. Small sand-bottomed streams. Adults perch near nymphal habitat. Forages in clearings.
YSSK1

Male
July 4, 1998
Wesley Lane
Bob Solem

YSSK2

Male
July 4, 1998
Wesley Lane
Bob Solem

Slaty Skimmer
Libellula incesta
1.7-2.3"
M-Jun — M-Aug
Common.
Habitat: Sunny sections of permanent ponds. Perches on tops of weeds or twigs. Male most active over water in morning. May approach/investigate humans. Forages along forest edges.
SLSK1

Male
July 28, 2012
Meadowbrook Park
Annette Allor

SLSK2

Exuviae
June 20, 1998
Vantage Point, Columbia
Jo Solem

Widow Skimmer
Libellula luctuosa
<1.7-2.0"/td>
L-May — E-Oct
Common.
Habitat: Ponds, small lakes, marshes. Forages in fields/open habitat. Perches obliquely on stems.

WISK1

Male
May 29, 2012
Waverly Pond
Russ Ruffing

WISK2

Female
July 4, 2005
Font Hill Park
ZoAnn Lapinsky

Needham's Skimmer
Libellula needhami
1.9-2.2"
E-Jul — L-Aug
Uncommon.
Nearly impossible to distinguish from Golden-winged Skimmer (L. auripennis) unless you have it in hand! Habitat: Ponds, small lakes, marshes. Forages in fields/open habitat. Perches obliquely on stems.
NESK1

Male
June 30, 2000
Clarksville
Bob Solem

NESK2

Female
2004
Howard County
June Tveekrem

Twelve-spotted Skimmer
Libellula pulchella
1.9-2.2"
M-May — M-Oct
Common.
Habitat: Temporary or new sediment ponds. Often returns to same perch. Wary.
TSSK1

Male
August 17, 2011
Font Hill Park
Ralph Geuder

TSSK2

Female
June 2, 2012
Mount Pleasant
Bonnie Ott

Painted Skimmer
Libellula semifasciata
1.4-1.9"
L-Apr — L-Aug
Common.
Habitat: Grassy seepage areas and ponds. Ponds and marshes in forested areas and upland areas far from water. Wary.
PASK1

Male
May 26, 2013
Henryton Road, PVSP
Richard Orr

PASK2

Female
April 27, 2012
Wincopin Trail
Annette Allor

Great Blue Skimmer
Libellula vibrans
2.2-2.5"
L-Apr — L-Aug
Common.
Habitat: Forest dragonfly of shaded slow-moving or still waters; shrub-swamp, bottomlands. Unwary.
GBSK2

Male
May 30, 2012
Woodstock
Russ Ruffing

GBSK1

Female
June 22, 2013
Harpers Choice
Linda Hunt

Hyacinth Glider
Miathyria marcella
1.3-1.7"
M-Jul
STRAY
Habitat: Found where there are water hyacinths. Southern species.


HYGL1

Male
July 9, 1999
Lake Elkhorn
Bob Solem/Richard Orr photo

HYGL2

Male (abdomen)
July 9, 1999
Lake Elkhorn
Bob Solem

Roseate Skimmer
Orthemis ferruginea
1.8-2.2"
M-Jul
STRAY
Habitat: Muddy ponds, ditches. Forages in fields. Wary but returns to favorite perches. Southern species.

ROSK1

Male
July 18, 1999
Lake Elkhorn
Bob Solem

ROSK2

Male
July 18, 1999
Lake Elkhorn
Bob Solem

Blue Dasher
Pachydiplax longipennis
1.1-1.8"
M-Jul
Abundant.
Habitat: Almost anything w/ water. Still or slow-moving weedy water. Often seen perched on tips of stems or twigs, sun or shade w/ lowered wings. May defend a feeding perch.
BLDA1

Male
August 21, 2011
Rockburn Branch Park
Bonnie Ott

BLDA2

Female (emerging)
June 7, 2012
Woodmark
Mike McClure

Wandering Glider
Pantala flavescens
1.7-2.0"
L-Apr – L-Oct
Common.
Habitat: Widespread migrant, usually seen hawking in open areas summer and fall; also still water. Infrequently perches vertically. Unwary when perched, otherwise difficult to capture.
WAGL1

Male
July 22, 2006
Western Regional Park
June Tveekrem

WAGL2

Female (ovipositing)
May 31, 1997
Gateway Business Park
Bob Solem

Spot-winged Glider
Pantala hymenaea
1.7-2.0"
M-May – M-Oct
Common.
Habitat: Open areas; ponds/pools. Feeds from dawn to dusk, often fast/erratic 2-5 m above ground. Unwary when perched-but seldom perches, then vertically on twigs.
SPGL1

Male
July 28, 2012
Alpha Ridge Park
Phil Perkins

SPGL2

Female
September 9, 2006
Western Regional Park
June Tveekrem

Eastern Amberwing
Perithemis tenera
0.8-1.0"
M-May – E-Oct
Common.
Habitat: Still waters of deeper ponds and slow parts of streams and rivers. Perches on tips of weeds or twigs; mimics wasps. Prefers sunshine.

EAAM1

Male
June 4, 2004
Font Hill Park
June Tveekrem

EAAM2

Female
June 22, 2013
Schooley Mill Park
Nancy Magnusson

Common Whitetail
Plathemis lydia
1.7-1.9"
M-Apr – E-Nov
Abundant.
Habitat: Anywhere. Shallow sunny seepages; trickles w/ soft mud bottoms, sediment ponds; rivers. Does well in water w/ high organic content. Perches conspicuously on ground, logs, weed stems.
COWH1

Male
August 17, 2011
Font Hill Park
Ralph Geuder

COWH2

Female
April 21, 2012
High Ridge Park
Annette Allor

Blue-faced Meadowhawk
Sympetrum ambiguum
1.2-1.5"
E-Jun – L-Oct
Uncommon.
Habitat: Temporary or permanent ponds (w/ fluctuating levels), intermittent streams.

BFME1

Male
August 30, 2008
Meadowbrook Park
Richard Orr

BFME2

Male (hamules)
August 22, 2011
Waterford Farm
Wes Earp

Cherry-faced Meadowhawk
Sympetrum internum
1.2-1.4"
M-Sep – Oct
RARE.
Habitat: Ponds & slow shady streams w/ associated meadows. Weedy ponds w/ burreed (Sparganium) marshes.

CFME1

Male
September 19, 2013
Fox Chase
Bonnie Ott

CFME3

Male
September 14, 2013
Fox Chase
Bonnie Ott

White-faced Meadowhawk
Sympetrum obtrusum
1.2-1.4"
M-Jul – M-Sep
Rare.
Habitat: Small (temporary) ponds; borrow pits and marshes w/ associated meadows; streams, tolerates acid water. Dried-up section of ponds. Forages from tips of low weeds.
WFME1

Male
October 1, 2013
Fox Chase
Bonnie Ott

WFME2

Female (exuding eggs)
September 29, 2013
Fox Chase
Bonnie Ott

Ruby Meadowhawk
Sympetrum rubicundulum
1.1-1.5"
E-Jun – L-Oct
Common.
Habitat: Ponds, small temporary ponds, vegetation near ponds (almost never over open water). Forages from weed stems.

RUME1

Male
June 23, 2013
Meadowbrook Park
Bonnie Ott

RUME2

Male and Female
July 1, 2011
Manor Woods E.S.
Richard Orr

Band-winged Meadowhawk
Sympetrum semicinctum
1.0-1.2"
M-Jun – L-Oct
Uncommon.
Habitat: Running water; marshes. Perches low in tall grasses. Forages in morning from tips of plants in marshy areas.

BWME1

Male
July 17, 2004
Howard County
June Tveekrem

BWME2

Female (exuding eggs)
August 1, 1997
Wesley Lane
Bob Solem

Autumn Meadowhawk
Sympetrum vicinum
1.0-1.2"
L-Jun – E-Dec
Abundant.
Habitat: Widespread at permanent ponds. Tandem adults often cluster at specific sites to oviposit.

AUME1

Male
October 8, 2011
Meadowbrook Park
Bonnie Ott

AUME2

Male and Female (in wheel)
2001
Howard County
June Tveekrem

Carolina Saddlebags
Tramea carolina
1.9-2.1"
E-Apr – M-Oct
Common.
Habitat: Shallow grassy ponds w/ thick emergent underwater vegetation.


CASA1

Male
June 9, 2012
U of MD Central Farm
Bonnie Ott

CASA2

Male and Female (in tandem)
July 28, 2012
Meadowbrook Park
Phil Perkins

Black Saddlebags
Tramea lacerata
1.9-2.1"
E-May – M-Oct
Common.
Habitat: Widespread, hawking in open areas or near permanent ponds; often common at new sediment ponds; quiet waters; slow-moving streams. Migratory.
BLSA1

Male
August 12, 2006
Western Regional Park
June Tveekrem

BLSA2

Male and Female (in tandem)
July 20, 2007
South Trotter Road
Wes Earp

Red Saddlebags
Tramea onusta
1.6-2.0"
E-Jun – L-Sep
Stray.
Habitat: Locally common in southern U.S.
RESA1 200X200

More photos are always welcome

We welcome submissions of odonate photos taken in Howard County. Email submissions (originals, unmodified except possible cropping) as attachment to email to Howard County Bird Club. Please include your name, date of photo, and location.






Life History of Odonates

Ebony Jewelwing M and F


Glossary

  • Abdominal appendages: Male and female reproductive organs at end of abdomen
  • Caudal appendages: See male appendages.
  • Cerci: Superior appendages on male odonates. Vestigial on females.
  • Emergence: Larva crawling our of water and adult odonate emerging from larval shell.
  • Epiprocts: Inferior appendages on male odonates. Vestigial on females.
  • Exoskeleton: Outer "skin" on odonates.
  • Exuviae: Shed larval cuticle (skin); always plural.
  • Inferior (lower) appendages: Epiprocts.
  • Instar: Any of the larval stages between egg and adult.
  • Larva: Immature feeding stage of an odonate before transformation into an adult.
  • Male appendages: Cerci (upper; superior) and paraprocts (lower; inferior).
  • Ovipositor: Modified appendages of a female odonate used for laying eggs.
  • Paraprocts: Inferior appendages in male odonates.
  • Superior (upper) appendages: Cerci.
  • Tandem: Male has grasped and is holding female head or thorax with his appendages (but not yet in wheel).
  • Teneral: Adult recently emerged from larval stage and hot fully hardened or colored.
  • Wheel/wheel position: Copulating pair of odonates in which male is holding female head or thorax with his appendages , and female has curved so that her genitalia engage his secondary genitalia.




Acknowledgments


Much of the data shown is based on records provided by Bob and Joanne Solem from 1995 to the present. Richard Orr has been exceedingly helpful not only with identfications, but with habitat, life histories, special tips, and photographs. Other contributors of dates, locations, or photos are Annette Allor, Scott Berglund, Sue Earp, Wes Earp, Harry Fink Ralph Geuder, Linda Hunt, Beth Johnson, ZoAnn Lapinsky, Allen Lewis, Kathy Litzinger, Nancy Magnusson, Mike McClure, Sue Muller, Bonnie Ott, Phil Perkins, Russ Ruffing, June Tveekren, and Jim Wilkinson.


© 2004-2017 Howard County Bird Club