Sunday, June 1, 2014

Dragonflies...Found Far From Water

While photographing butterflies and wildflowers this morning in the neighborhood, encountered some dragonflies. Our home is about 4500 feet from the Bitterroot River and about upslope by 100 feet. Good wildflower stands of Arrowleaf Balsmaroot, Wyeth's Lupine, Leafy Spurge (sic) and Meadow Death Camas were attracting a variety pollinating insects. So it seems logical that predatory insects (dragonflies) would be around. Dennis Paulson (Damseflies and Dragonflies of the West 2009), odonate authority, states that "non-breeding immatures (and mature females) can be found well away from water..." Much for me to learn on just this dragonfly behavior; seems that much luck is involved looking for these creatures away from water.

Pictured below is an immature male Dot-tailed Whiteface (Leucorrhinia intacta) perched on plant stem that I bumped into and photographed. Also saw in flight a darner, likely California Darner (Rhionaeschna californica) and a meadowhawk, likely Variegated (Sympetrum corruptum). One particular dragonfly that took me a couple of seasons to find, Sinuous Snaketail (Ophiogomphus occidentalis), have now found regularly in the upland conifer forest...does not intuitive!!! Does add to the challenge and fun...give it a try in a wild, albeit from water, area near you :-)

Dot-tailed Whiteface

Sinuous Snaketail