Friday, June 29, 2012

Virginia Dragonflies: The Calico Pennant

One of the dragonflies we saw the first morning in Virginia was the Calico Pennant.  This is a small dragonfly – smaller than our meadowhawks in Washington – but what it lacks in size it makes up for in appearance.  Through the binoculars this is a brilliant dragonfly, with intricate patterns in the wings and heart-shaped reddish spots lined up along the abdomen.  You can't fail to notice a Calico Pennant, and their high perching index of 80 - 90% ensures lots of good viewing opportunities.  Here are a few male Calico Pennants from Virginia:

One of the first male Calico Pennants we saw.  There's a lot going on in this small dragonfly.

Calico Pennants can look like a miniature saddlebags on the wing, but then you notice the extra spots on the wings.

A Calico Pennant stands out from its surroundings.

The wings and abdomen have interesting patterns and colors.  We never tired of looking at this dragonfly.

Pennants are named their habit of perching on the top of a stem and orienting themselves to face into the prevailing winds – just like a pennant at the top of a flagpole.

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