Fall Dragonflies of Cape May

Great Blue Skimmer, male

 

Great Blue Skimmer, male

Great Blue Skimmer–male

 

Cape May is famous for its incredible birding, but also for their varieties of butterflies and dragonflies.  These aerial predators with their monster-like eyes and machine-like thoraxes can fly in any direction and will aggressively defend their territories.  When I miss a shot, I’ve learned to wait because the dragonfly often returns to its favorite perch.  Their names are as fascinating as their behavior.

Eastern Pondhawk, female

Eastern Pondhawk, female

 

Halloween Pennant

Halloween Pennant

 

Golden-winged Skimmer

Golden-winged Skimmer

 

Twelve-spotted Skimmer

Twelve-spotted Skimmer

 

Carolina Saddlebags

Carolina Saddlebags

Wandering Glider

Wandering Glider

 

Eastern Pondhawk, female

Eastern Pondhawk–female

Dragonflies will consume mosquitoes, and other flying insects, but we also observed them being eaten by the migrating Kestrels and Peregrines.  There must be a lot of meat on those huge bugs!

The Beginner’s Guide to Dragonflies by Stokes has a great step-by-step approach to ID if you’re interested in getting your feet wet with this hobby.  I also need to thank Nick Block from Bucknell University for checking and correcting my ID–thanks, Nick!

Lauren Shaffer

Lauren Shaffer wrote 140 posts

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