Posts Tagged ‘teneral dragonfly’

It’s taken a while, but I have finally spotted my first locally-born dragonfly of the season. Previously I had seen some Common Green Darner dragonflies, which were probably migrants from the south, but on Monday, the last day of April, I spotted this newly-emerged Blue Corporal dragonfly (Ladona deplanata) at Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge.

I did not get a really good angle for this shot, so I can’t be absolutely certain of the dragonfly’s gender, but I think that it may be a male. One of the tricky things about identifying the gender of dragonflies is that immature males often look similar in coloration to females. If this is a male its abdomen will eventually turn blue in color, which helps explain the first part of the species name. As for the “corporal,” I have been told that this is a reference to the two whitish lines on the dragonfly’s thorax that resemble the two stripes that corporals wear as their rank insignia in the US Army.

The weather is warming up and I expect to be seeing a whole lot more dragonflies in the upcoming weeks and months. Unlike this Blue Corporal, some of them will perch above the ground rather than on in, which should permit me to get some more photogenic shots. Our weather this spring has been a bit crazy and the emergence of dragonflies seems to have been delayed, but with this spotting I can confidently state that the dragonfly season has started for me.

Blue Corporal dragonfly

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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