Monday, March 30, 2015

Early-Season Report: Red-tailed Pennant

The Red-tailed Pennant is a common red dragonfly of the desert southwest.  In Arizona, where I am now, its flight season is said to begin in June.  Even so, I've been seeing them regularly in April the last couple years, and this year I saw one in my backyard just a few days ago.  It seems their early flight date should be moved up to March.

Here's a look at the Red-tailed Pennant, along with some of its more prominent field marks indicated with white text and arrows. The blue annotations indicate other features of interest.

A male Red-tailed Pennant, observed at the Gilbert Water Ranch.
Field marks for the Red-tailed Pennant.

Here's a slightly different view:

It seems a lot of animals are showing up at different times than usual these days – apparently the Red-tailed Pennant falls into that group.

The best thing about this observation is that this was the first time I've seen a Red-tailed Pennant in my backyard.  That's cool.  I hope I continue to see them!

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