Saturday, May 29, 2010

Delta-spotted Spiketail

I observed this dragonfly in a skunk cabbage-speckled alder swamp in Portage County this past week.  I was searching for bog bluegrass and this fantastic black and yellow dragonfly kept slowly moving back and forth a foot or so above the skunk cabbage and sedges.  Finally, it stopped for a break, and I had my camera ready.  The spiketails are one of my favorite groups of dragonflies- their coloration is really striking, bright yellow spots on a black background.  I have previously seen a tiger spiketail, but this was my first delta-spotted (Cordulegaster diastatops).  It is named for the triangular shaped spots running down each side of its abdomen.  In Ohio, this species is restricted to NE Ohio where it is considered uncommon.


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