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North American Dragonflies and Damselflies


Below will be a collection of dragonfly and damselfly photos from North America, including Mexico. Go to my African Odonate page or my page with a few odonates from Peru as well, if you are interested in some images from those areas. Though I've photographed birds for 30 years, the Odonata were all new subjects for me starting in about 2002. My sincere thanks to John Abbott, Giff Beaton, Bob Behrstock, Sid Dunkle, Ted Eubanks, Dennis Paulson, Chuck Sexton, Martin Reid and John Ingram for helping me learn more about the Odonates and for coaching me through many field identifications during the time when I was just getting started with these fascinating bugs. Many of the below photos are from Texas, but I am adding many images of odonates from other states as I travel. The reader should visit the Odonata Central web site maintained by Dr. John Abbott at the University of Texas at Austin. This site contains information on all the odonata of the U.S. with an emphasis on the south-central United States. Many links to other

Most of the photos displayed here are of wild bugs which were photographed totally free. There are a few exceptions, which were taken of a dragonfly "in hand" to show close-up detail of the thorax, etc. Any "in hand" shot will be obvious. Some odonate species seldom perch for photographs. On some occasions I have photographed "posed" dragonflies. Posed dragonflies are netted and are to be saved as specimens, but are arranged in a natural position for photographs before being collected. I have done this only for species which are almost impossible to photograph naturally and when the insect was to be collected anyway. Such photos will be labeled as "posed" in all cases.

For a series of images of a young dragonfly emerging from its exuviae go here.

Photography: I have often been asked about my own methods for taking photos of odonates. I have written an article in which I fully explain what I do and how I do it. Hopefully this article will be helpful to some other photographers. Digital Odonate Photography: My Personal Techniques


Note: Within each family group of odonates below, the insects are arranged alphabetically by genus and species.

Broad-winged Damsel Family (Calopterygidae)

River Jewelwing (Calopteryx aequabilis)

Superb Jewelwing (Calopteryx amata)

Appalachian Jewelwing (Calopteryx angustipennis)
Sparkling Jewelwing (Calopteryx dimidiata)
Ebony Jewelwing (Calopteryx maculata)
American Rubyspot (Hetaerina americana)
Smoky Rubyspot (Hetaerina titia)
Canyon Rubyspot (Hetaerina vulnerata)

Spreadwing Damsel Family (Lestidae)

Great Spreadwing (Archilestes grandis)
Plateau Spreadwing (Lestes alacer)
Southern Spreadwing (Lestes australis)

Spotted Spreadwing (Lestes congener)
Northern Spreadwing (Lestes disjunctus)
Emerald Spreadwing (Lestes dryas)
Amber-winged Spreadwing (Lestes eurinus)
Sweetflag Spreadwing (Lestes forcipatus)
Rainpool Spreadwing (Lestes forficula)
Elegant Spreadwing (Lestes inaequalis)
Slender Spreadwing (Lestes rectangularis)
Chalky Spreadwing (Lestes sigma)
Blue-striped Spreadwing (Lestes tenuatus)
Lyre-tipped Spreadwing (Lestes unguiculatus)
Swamp Spreadwing (Lestes vigilax)

Threadtail Family (Protoneuridae)

Coral-fronted Threadtail (Neoneura aaroni)
Amelia's Threadtail (Neoneura amelia)
Orange-striped Threadtail (Protoneura cara)

Narrow-winged (or Pond) Damsel Family (Coenagrionidae)

Mexican Wedgetail (Acanthagrion quadratum)
Western Red Damsel (Amphiagrion abbreviatum)
Eastern Red Damsel (Amphiagrion saucium)
Black-and-white Damsel (Apanisagrion lais)

Paiute Dancer (Argia alberta)
Blue-fronted Dancer (Argia apicalis)
Comanche Dancer (Argia barretti)
Seepage Dancer (Argia bipunctulata)
Coppery Dancer (Argia cuprea)
Emma's Dancer (Argia emma)
Spine-tipped Dancer (Argia extranea)
Variable Dancer (Argia fumipennis)
Lavender Dancer (Argia hinei)
Kiowa Dancer (Argia immunda)
Leonora's Dancer (Argia leonorae)
Sooty Dancer (Argia lugens)
Powdered Dancer (Argia moesta)
Apache Dancer (Argia munda)
Aztec Dancer (Argia nahuana)
Fiery-eyed Dancer (Argia oenea)
Amethyst Dancer (Argia pallens)
Springwater Dancer (Argia plana)
Golden-winged Dancer (Argia rhoadsi)
Blue-ringed Dancer (Argia sedula)
Blue-tipped Dancer (Argia tibialis)
Dusky Dancer (Argia translata)
Vivid Dancer (Argia vivida)
Aurora Damsel (Chromagrion conditum)

Taiga Bluet (Coenagrion resolutum)
River Bluet (Enallagma anna)
Northern Bluet (Enallagma annexum) formerly E. cyathigerum
Rainbow Bluet (Enallagma antennatum)
Azure Bluet (Enallagma aspersum)
Double-striped Bluet (Enallagma basidens)
Boreal Bluet (Enallagma boreale)
Tule Bluet (Enallagma carunculatum)
Alkali Bluet (Enallagma clausum)

Cherry Bluet (Enallagma concisum)
Familiar Bluet (Enallagma civile)
Attenuated Bluet (Enallagma daeckii)

Sandhill Bluet (Enallagma davisi)
Turquoise Bluet (Enallagma divagans)

Atlantic Bluet (Enallagma doubledayi)

Burgundy Bluet (Enallagma dubium)

Big Bluet (Enallagma durum)
Marsh Bluet (Enallagma ebrium)
Stream Bluet (Enallagma exsulans)
Skimming Bluet (Enallagma geminatum)
Hagen's Bluet (Enallagma hageni)
Little Bluet (Enallagma minusculum)
Neotropical Bluet (Enallagma novaehispaniae)
Scarlet Bluet (Enallagma pictum)

Florida Bluet (Enallagma pollutum)
Arroyo Bluet (Enallagma praevarum)
Orange Bluet (Enallagma signatum)
Slender Bluet (Enallagma traviatum)

Vesper Bluet (Enallagma vesperum)

Blackwater Bluet (Enallagma weewa)
Painted Damsel (Hesperagrion heterodoxum)
Desert Forktail (Ischnura barberi)
Pacific Forktail (Ischnura cervula)
Plains Forktail (Ischnura damula)
Mexican Forktail (Ischnura demorsa)
Black-fronted Forktail (Ischnura denticollis)
Citrine Forktail (Ischnura hastata)
Lilypad Forktail (Ischnura kellicotti)
Western Forktail (Ischnura perparva)
Fragile Forktail (Ischnura posita)
Rambur's Forktail (Ischnura ramburii)
Eastern Forktail (Ischnura verticalis)
Cream-tipped Swampdamsel (Leptobasis melinogaster)
Red-tipped Swampdamsel (Leptobasis vacillans)
Sphagnum Sprite (Nehalennia gracilis)
Southern Sprite (Nehalennia integricollis)
Sedge Sprite (Nehalennia irene)
Caribbean Yellowface (Neoerythromma cultellatum)
Duckweed Firetail (Telebasis byersi)
Marsh Firetail (Telebasis digiticollis)
Desert Firetail (Telebasis salva)
Striped Firetail (Telebasis filiola)

Petaltail Family (Petaluridae)

Gray Petaltail (Tachopteryx thoreyi)
Black Petaltail (Tanypteryx hageni)

Darner Family (Aeshnidae)

Canada Darner (Aeshna canadensis)
Mottled Darner (Aeshna clepsydra)
Lake Darner (Aeshna eremita)
Variable Darner (Aeshna interrupta)
Paddle-tailed Darner (Aeshna palmata)
Black-tipped Darner (Aeshna tuberculifera)
Shadow Darner (Aeshna umbrosa)
Green-striped Darner (Aeshna verticalis)
Amazon Darner (Anax amazili)
Blue-spotted Comet Darner (Anax concolor)
Common Green Darner (Anax junius)
Comet Darner (Anax longipes)
Giant Darner (Anax walsinghami)
Springtime Darner (Basiaeschna janata)
Fawn Darner (Boyeria vinosa)
Blue-faced Darner (Coryphaeschna adnexa)
Regal Darner (Coryphaeschna ingens)
Swamp Darner (Epiaeschna heros)
Harlequin Darner (Gomphaeschna furcillata)
Bar-sided Darner (Gynacantha mexicana)
Cyrano Darner (Nasiaeschna pentacantha)
Arroyo Darner (Rhionaeschna dugesi)
Blue-eyed Darner (Rhionaeschna multicolor)
Turquoise-tipped Darner (Rhionaeschna psilus)
Caribbean Darner (Triacanthagyna caribbea)

Clubtail Family (Gomphidae)

Broad-striped Forceptail (Aphylla angustifolia)
Narrow-striped Forceptail (Aphylla protracta)
Two-striped Forceptail (Aphylla williamsoni)
Lilypad Clubtail (Arigomphus furcifer)
Stillwater Clubtail (Arigomphus lentulus)

Bayou Clubtail (Arigomphus maxwelli)

Gray-green Clubtail (Arigomphus pallidus)
Jade Clubtail (Arigomphus submedianus)
Southeastern Spinyleg (Dromogomphus armatus)
Black-shouldered Spinyleg (Dromogomphus spinosus)
Flag-tailed Spinyleg (Dromogomphus spoliatus)
White-belted Ringtail (Erpetogomphus compositus)
Eastern Ringtail (Erpetogomphus designatus)
"Mexican form" of Eastern Ringtail
Blue-faced Ringtail (Erpetogomphus eutainia)

Serpent Ringtail (Erpetogomphus lampropeltis)
Mustached Clubtail (Gomphus adelphus)
Banner Clubtail (Gomphus apomyius)

Clearlake Clubtail (Gomphus australis)
Beaverpond Clubtail (Gomphus borealis)

Sandhill Clubtail (Gomphus cavillaris)

Cherokee Clubtail (Gomphus consanguis)
Handsome Clubtail (Gomphus crassus)
Harpoon Clubtail (Gomphus descriptus)

Blackwater Clubtail (Gomphus dilatatus)

Diminutive Clubtail (Gomphus diminutus)
Lancet Clubtail (Gomphus exilis)
Plains Clubtail (Gomphus externus)

Twin-striped Clubtail (Gomphus geminatus)

Tamaulipan Clubtail (Gomphus gonzalezi)
Pronghorn Clubtail (Gomphus graslinellus)

Hodges's Clubtail (Gomphus hodgesi)
Cocoa Clubtail (Gomphus hybridus)

Splendid Clubtail (Gomphus lineatifrons)
Ashy Clubtail (Gomphus lividus)
Columbia Clubtail (Gomphus lynnae)
Sulphur-tipped Clubtail (Gomphus militaris)

Gulf Coast Clubtail (Gomphus modestus)
Oklahoma Clubtail (Gomphus oklahomensis)

Ozark Clubtail (Gomphus ozarkensis)

Piedmont Clubtail (Gomphus parvidens)
Tennessee Clubtail (Gomphus sandrius)
Dusky Clubtail (Gomphus spicatus)
Cobra Clubtail (Gomphus vastus)

Green-faced Clubtail (Gomphus viridifrons)

Westfall's Clubtail (Gomphus westfalli)
Dragonhunter (Hagenius brevistylus)
Northern Pygmy Clubtail (Lanthus parvulus)
Southern Pygmy Clubtail (Lanthus vernalis)
Grappletail (Octogomphus specularis)
Brook Snaketail (Ophiogomphus aspersus)

Southern Snaketail (Ophiogomphus australis)
Boreal Snaketail (Ophiogomphus colubrinus)

Edmund's Snaketail (Ophiogomphus edmundo)
Maine Snaketail (Ophiogomphus mainensis)
Great Basin Snaketail (Ophiogomphus morrisoni)
Sinuous Snaketail (Ophiogomphus occidentis)
Rusty Snaketail (Ophiogomphus rupinsulensis)
Pale Snaketail (Ophiogomphus severus)
Westfall's Snaketail (Ophiogomphus westfalli)
Ringed Forceptail (Phyllocycla breviphylla)
Five-striped Leaftail (Phyllogomphoides albrighti)
Four-striped Leaftail (Phyllogomphoides stigmatus)
(comparison page of the two leaftails; field identification)
Gray Sanddragon (Progomphus borealis)
Common Sanddragon (Progomphus obscurus)
Eastern Least Clubtail (Stylogomphus albistylus)
Interior Least Clubtail (Stylogomphus sigmastylus)
Riverine Clubtail (Stylurus amnicola)

Brimstone Clubtail (Stylurus intricatus)
Olive Clubtail (Stylurus olivaceus)
Russet-tipped Clubtail (Stylurus plagiatus)
Zebra Clubtail (Stylurus scudderi)

Spiketail Family (Cordulegastridae)

Delta-spotted Spiketail (Cordulegaster diastatops)
Pacific Spiketail (Cordulegaster dorsalis)
Twin-spotted Spiketail (Cordulegaster maculata)
Arrowhead Spiketail (Cordulegaster obliqua)

Sarracenia Spiketail (Cordulegaster sarracenia)

Ouachita Spiketail (Cordulegaster talaria)

Cruiser Family (Macromiidae)

Stream Cruiser (Didymops transversa)
Bronzed River Cruiser (Macromia annulata)
Swift River Cruiser (Macromia illinoiensis) AKA Illinois River Cruiser and Georgia River Cruiser
Western River Cruiser (Macromia magnifica)
Gilded River Cruiser (Macromia pacifica)
Royal River Cruiser (Macromia taeniolata)

Emerald Family (Corduliidae)

American Emerald (Cordulia shurtleffii)
Racket-tailed Emerald (Dorocordulia libera)
Broad-tailed Shadowdragon (Neurocordulia michaeli)

Cinnamon Shadowdragon (Neurocordulia virginiensis)
Orange Shadowdragon (Neurocordulia xanthosoma)
Prince Baskettail (Epitheca [Epicordulia] princeps)
Slender Baskettail (Epitheca [Tetragoneuria] costalis)
Common Baskettail (Epitheca [Tetragoneuria] cynosura)
Dot-winged Baskettail (Epitheca [Tetragoneuria] petechialis)
Mantled Baskettail (Epitheca [Tetragoneuria] semiaquea)
Spiny Baskettail (Epitheca spinigera)
Robust Baskettail (Epitheca [Tetragoneuria] spinosa)
Unknown Baskettail (Epitheca [Tetragoneuria] species?)
Selys' Sundragon (Helocordulia selysii)

Plains Emerald (Somatochlora ensigera)
Forcipate Emerald (Somatochlora forcipata)
Coppery Emerald (Somatochlora georgiana)
Hine's Emerald (Somatochlora hineana)
Mocha Emerald (Somatochlora linearis)
Ocellated Emerald (Somatochlora minor)

Ozark Emerald (Somatochlora ozarkensis)
Clamp-tipped Emerald (Somatochlora tenebrosa)
Brush-tipped Emerald (Somatochlora walshii)

Skimmer Family (Libellulidae)

Red-tailed Pennant (Brachymesia furcata)
Four-spotted Pennant (Brachymesia gravida)
Tawny Pennant (Brachymesia herbida)
Pale-faced Clubskimmer (Brechmorhoga mendax)
Gray-waisted Skimmer (Cannaphila insularis)
Amanda's Pennant (Celithemis amanda)
Calico Pennant (Celithemis elisa)
Halloween Pennant (Celithemis eponina)
Banded Pennant (Celithemis fasciata)
Ornate Pennant (Celithemis ornata)
Double-ringed Pennant (Celithemis verna)
Scarlet Skimmer (Crocothemis servilia)
Checkered Setwing (Dythemis fugax)
Mayan Setwing (Dythemis maya)
Black Setwing (Dythemis nigrescens)
Swift Setwing (Dythemis velox)
Black Pondhawk (Erythemis attala)
Western Pondhawk (Erythemis collocata)
Claret Pondhawk (Erythemis mithroides)
Pin-tailed Pondhawk (Erythemis plebja)
Eastern Pondhawk (Erythemis simplicicollis)
Great Pondhawk (Erythemis vesiculosa)
Plateau Dragonlet (Erythrodiplax basifusca)
Seaside Dragonlet (Erythrodiplax berenice)
Little Blue Dragonlet (Erythrodiplax minuscula)
Band-winged Dragonlet (Erythrodiplax umbrata)
Metallic Pennant (Idiataphe cubensis)
Blue Corporal (Ladona deplanata)
White Corporal (Ladona exusta)
Chalk-fronted Corporal (Ladona julia)

Boreal Whiteface (Leucorrhinia borealis)
Frosted Whiteface (Leucorrhinia frigida)
Crimson-ringed Whiteface (Leucorrhinia glacialis)
Hudsonian Whiteface (Leucorrhinia hudsonica)
Dot-tailed Whiteface (Leucorrhinia intacta)
Belted Whiteface (Leucorrhinia proxima)
Golden-winged Skimmer (Libellula auripennis)
Bar-winged Skimmer (Libellula axilena)
Comanche Skimmer (Libellula comanche)

Bleached Skimmer (Libellula composita)
Neon Skimmer (Libellula croceipennis)
Spangled Skimmer (Libellula cyanea)
Yellow-sided Skimmer (Libellula flavida)
Eight-spotted Skimmer (Libellula forensis)
Slaty Skimmer (Libellula incesta)
Widow Skimmer (Libellula luctuosa)
Needham's Skimmer (Libellula needhami)

Hoary Skimmer (Libellula nodisticta)
Twelve-spotted Skimmer (Libellula pulchella)
Four-spotted Skimmer (Libellula quadrimaculata)
Flame Skimmer (Libellula saturata)
Painted Skimmer (Libellula semifasciata)
Great Blue Skimmer (Libellula vibrans)
Marl Pennant (Macrodiplax balteata)
Ivory-striped Sylph (Macrothemis imitans)
Straw-colored Sylph (Macrothemis inacuta)
Jade-striped Sylph (Macrothemis inequiunguis)
Hyacinth Glider (Miathyria marcella)
Spot-tailed Dasher (Micrathyria aequalis)
Three-striped Dasher (Micrathyria didyma)
Thornbush Dasher (Micrathyria hagenii)
Elfin Skimmer (Nannothemis bella)
Orange-bellied Skimmer (Orthemis discolor)
(also known as Carmine Skimmer)
Roseate Skimmer (Orthemis ferruginea)
Blue Dasher (Pachydiplax longipennis)
Red Rock Skimmer (Paltothemis lineatipes)
Wandering Glider (Pantala flavescens)
Spot-winged Glider (Pantala hymenaea)
Slough Amberwing (Perithemis domitia)
Eastern Amberwing (Perithemis tenera)
Mexican Scarlet-tail (Planiplax sanguiniventris)
Common Whitetail (Plathemis lydia)
Desert Whitetail (Plathemis subornata)
Filigree Skimmer (Pseudoleon superbus)
Blue-faced Meadowhawk (Sympetrum ambiguum)
Variegated Meadowhawk (Sympetrum corruptum)
Saffron-winged Meadowhawk (Sympetrum costiferum)
Black Meadowhawk (Sympetrum danae)
Cardinal Meadowhawk (Sympetrum illotum)
Cherry-faced Meadowhawk (Sympetrum internum)

Red-veined Meadowhawk (Sympetrum madidum)
White-faced Meadowhawk (Sympetrum obtrusum)
Striped Meadowhawk (Sympetrum pallipes)
Ruby Meadowhawk (Sympetrum rubicundulum)
Band-winged Meadowhawk (Sympetrum semicintum)
Autumn Meadowhawk (Sympetrum vicinum)
Arch-tipped Glider (Tauriphila argo)
Evening Skimmer (Tholymis citrina)
Vermilion Saddlebags (Tramea abdominalis)
Striped Saddlebags (Tramea calverti)
Carolina Saddlebags (Tramea carolina)
Antillean Saddlebags (Tramea insularis)
Black Saddlebags (Tramea lacerata)
Red Saddlebags (Tramea onusta)


For a series of images of a young dragonfly emerging from its exuvia go here.

Other Shots

Dragonfly Predators: Some shots of some other creatures who prey on dragons.
Unknown dragonfly from the Galapagos Islands
Unknown damselfly from Chiapas, Mexico
Unknown Baskettail (Epitheca [Tetragoneuria] species?)

Photography: I have often been asked about my own methods for taking photos of odonates. I have written an article in which I fully explain what I do and how I do it. Hopefully this article will be helpful to some other photograhers.

Digital Odonate Photography: My Personal Techniques