Monday, August 15, 2011

Royal River Cruiser, Macromia taeniolata

Delaware Wildlife Area, August 15, 2011
Welcome to Monday everyone.  It's not every Monday that I photograph a new-to-me species of dragonfly, but today I just happened to get lucky.  If my identification passes muster with experts, I believe this is a royal river cruiser, Macromia taeniolata.  This is a pretty darn nice looking bug, isn't it?

I have made a habit of bringing my full camera rig to work every day, and during my lunch break, I take short photographic forays around the adjacent fields and forests.  Today I hit the jackpot.  I had spotted a dark dragon flying around above me as I was photographing ambush bugs, but it was high, far away, and it wasn't stopping to perch.  As I walked back to the office, a dragon zipped from behind me and landed in the edge of the old field, just 15 feet or so from my camera.  I set up, moved in slowly, and bam, I got some shots that I can be proud of.

Although the Ohio Odonata Website isn't completely up-to-date, this sighting could turn out to be a new species for Delaware County.  Normally this species is found relentlessy cruising up and down rivers, but they apparently do break away from time to time to explore adjacent uplands like this individual was doing today.  The main take away from today's photograph?  Never leave home without my good camera!



  1. Wonderful photo; terrific detail! Gotta love those odonates.

    Have you checked out Odonata Central?

    I encourage you to check them out and submit your photograph. I believe yours will be a record there for Ohio if it checks out.

  2. Thanks Bill! I have used the Odonata Central website before- but I didn't realize the site took user contributions- I'll check it out.



  3. Stunning photo..and what a find!

  4. Great photo, Tom! I see and catch Macromia by the dozens on the Little Muskingum but have never seen one perch!

  5. Those eyes are SUCH an incredible color. Wow. Fantastic shot. =)

  6. Gorgeous shot, but I can't tell exactly what it's doing. Is it clinging to a dry leaf?

  7. Samantha- Thank you. I lucked out.

    Thanks Dave- This was my first time too- Rick Nirschl has several nice photos of perched Macromia in Rosche, Semroc & Gilbert- I wish it would have stuck around longer. I looked for it again today- no luck.

    Katie- Thank you!

    Biobabller- Thanks so much, yes it's the eyes that really stick out to me.

    Scott- It is hanging from a dried bit of vegetation- a very tiny leaf and the attached vine-like structure. A perfect perch- it just clung so delicately- and dangled almost like an ornament on a Christmas tree.


  8. Yep, that's taeniolata. Great photo, and not posed either! You could register at Odonata Central and submit this as a Delaware County record.