Monday, March 9, 2015

Early Season Dragonflies 2015!

Wow.  The 2015 dragonfly season is off to a great start!  It seemed a bit slow at first, when we failed to see dragonflies in Medford, Oregon or at the Sacramento Wildlife Refuge, but it picked up big time when we got to Southern California and Arizona.

We saw our first dragonflies at the Coachella Wildlife Refuge near Palm Springs, CA on March 4.  We always stop there on our way to Arizona, and generally see Vivid Dancers and nothing else so early in the year.  This time we saw the usual damselflies, but also good numbers of Spot-winged Gliders in feeding groups of 4 to 6 at a time.  Here are some photos of the odonates we saw at Coachella:

A male Vivd Dancer at the Coachella Wildlife Preserve.  Notice the little "arrowheads" on the side of the blue bands on the abdomen.
A Spot-winged Glider taking a rare rest.

Our next view of dragonflies occurred in Arizona on March 6.  We went to the Gilbert Water Ranch, near our home in Mesa, AZ, and immediately saw lots of odonate activity.  We first saw Familiar Bluets and Rambur's Forktails, then the dragonflies started to appear.  We spotted some Red Saddlebags along the shore (in fact we saw pairs in tandem laying eggs), and then some Roseate Skimmers, a Common Green Darner, a Mexican Amberwing, and a Variegated Meadowhawk.  The activity was constant, and at a high level.

Here are a few photos of the dragonflies seen at the Gilbert Water Ranch:

A male Familiar Bluet at the Gilbert Water Ranch.
A male Mexican Amberwing (right) entices a female to lay eggs in his territory.
A male Roseate Skimmer looking fresh and bright.
A male Red Saddlebags coming in for a landing.

Here's our species list for odonates so far this season:

Familiar Bluet
Rambur's Forktail
Vivid Dancer

Common Green Darner
Roseate Skimmer
Mexican Amberwing
Variegated Meadowhawk
Red Saddlebags
Spot-winged Glider


  1. Wonderful! I'm so looking forward to the first dragonflies and damselflies of the season. Thanks for sharing!

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