Common Whitetails

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Filed under Outdoor Notes

May 2, 2010

The Common Whitetail (Libellula lydia) is one of the big dragonflies known as Skimmers, which tend to perch more than they fly. They are one of the first of the large dragonflies to emerge in the Spring.

Common Whitetail Dragonfly

Common Whitetail, newly emerged male

The first one I saw this year, was hunting on a hilltop in the State Game Lands. It was a newly emerged male–note how there is no black at the wingtip.

(Libellula lydia) Common Whitetail

Male Common Whitetail

Later in the season the males will have bright white tails, hence the name. Look for them around small, shallow bodies of water.  They seem to be drawn to open areas of mud or gravel. They also often alight on dead wood.

The females look very similar to the newly emerged males, but note how there is black on the wingtip.

Female Common Whiteface laying eggs

Female Common Whiteface laying eggs

This gal was laying eggs in a very small temporary pool on the very top of Bower Mountain.

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