Posts Tagged ‘male Ashy Clubtail’

Where do dragonflies like to perch? Different species perch in different ways and in different places (and some species spend most of their time flying and rarely seem to perch). Some dragonflies perch horizontally or at an angle, while others hang vertically. Some species perch on trees or in vegetation, while others perch on the bare ground or on the sand. When I am out hunting for dragonflies, their perching behavior is often my first clue to their identities.

When I spotted these two dragonflies perched in the rocks and sand at the edge of a stream in Prince William County that I was exploring with fellow dragonfly enthusiast Walter Sanford last Thursday, I guessed immediately that they were Ashy Clubtails. When I got a little closer, I was able to confirm that they both are male Ashy Clubtails. Ashy Clubtail dragonflies (Phanogomphus lividus) are an early-spring species that generally perch flat on bare-soil, fallen logs, rocks, or leaf litter. Sometimes I have even found them perching right in the middle of a sunlit hiking trail.

When dragonflies are perched higher, I like to try to get eye-level shots of them, but that is almost impossible to do when they are flat on the ground. I suppose that I could have tried the limbo approach—how low can you go? However, in this case, I stood as directly over them as I could and shot downwards in an attempt to get as sharp a shot as possible of their entire bodies.

Ashy Clubtail

Ashy Clubtail

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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