Entries tagged with “damselflies”.

DSC_3795On June 23th, Andy Rabin and Kevin Munroe led another great field trip to find and identify as many dragonflies and damselflies as they could.

The group visited Bles Park, Claude Moore Park and Willowsford.

A full list of the sightings (33 species) is below and reference of the first place they saw them during the day.

Bles Park
Claude Moore Park (CM)
Willowsford Farm (WF)

DRAGONFLIES – 23 species
Common Green Darner, Swamp Darner (WF), Unicorn Clubtail (CM), Black-shouldered Spinyleg, Lancet Clubtail (WF), Cobra Clubtail, Dragonhunter, Arrowhead Spiketail (WF), Prince Baskettail, Common Pondhawk, Spangled Skimmer, Slaty Skimmer, Widow Skimmer, Common Whitetail, Needham’s Skimmer, Twelve-spotted Skimmer, Painted Skimmer, Great Blue Skimmer, Blue Dasher, Eastern Amberwing, Autumn Meadowhawk, Carolina Saddlebags, Black Saddlebags (CM)

DAMSELFLIES – 10 species
Ebony Jewelwing (WF), Slender Spreadwing, Blue-fronted Dancer, Variable Dancer (WF), Powdered Dancer, Blue-tipped Dancer, Stream Bluet, Citrine Forktail, Fragile Forktail (WF), Eastern Forktail

Photo by Sheryl Pollock.


This just in from Christopher S. Hobson, VA DCR – Division of Natural Heritage:

 The Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation – Division of Natural Heritage (DCR-DNH), with funding from the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (DGIF) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, is developing an atlas of the rare dragonflies, damselflies, butterflies, skippers, and moths in the state (see below).

The final product, a series of 193 species fact sheets and county occurrence maps, will be made available to the general public, naturalists and scientists on a web site. We have two years to develop the database from field work, museum records, literature citations, and with your help and input, personal communications from area naturalists.

We would appreciate your assistance in any way, particularly with the following two tasks.
First, if you are still active in the field, we ask that you keep an eye out for the species we are interested in (see list below) and report them to us?

Second, we ask that you read through the species list and send us any records that you may already have from Virginia.

In both cases, the more information you can send (date of observation, location, numbers observed, habitat conditions, etc.) the more complete our records will be. Photographic vouchering would be appreciated if possible.

If you have any population information, for example you return to a site every year, or you make observations throughout the flight season of a particular species, that would be useful information.

Written accounts would be best and could be in the form of copies of field notes, emails, letters, photos, etc. Inclusion of maps indicating the exact location and/or latitude and longitude coordinates would be most useful.

In addition to the internet product, where county level information will be made available, the information you provide about most of these species will be added to the Virginia Natural Heritage Program’s database and used to inform conservation decisions such as our environmental review process, potential land acquisition, and management plans. If you are hesitant to reveal some locations, we can indicate that the information is ‘sensitive’ and limit access to the information.

We cannot complete this project adequately without help and input from the naturalist community. I hope you will take some time to read through the list of species and consider how you might participate in this project. Please feel free to contact me [Chris Hobson] via phone (804) 371-6202 or email Chris.Hobson@dcr.virginia.gov if you have questions, or if you have information that can be useful in completing this atlas project.


We had a great walk led by Andy Rabin and Mona Miller. Eighteen people of all ages came out to spot and help identify these beautiful insects. In total, we saw 17 species of butterflies, 13 species of dragonflies and 1species of damselflies.

The highlight of the butterflies was the large number of Juniper (aka Olive) Hairstreaks that we found throughout the wildflowers and grasses. The Red Cedars present at the Park serve as the host plant for the Juniper Hairstreak so this was an indication that we might see them but we certainly didn’t expect to see as many as we did.  It was a special treat to see this uncommon butterfly.

Many thanks to the kids on the walk – they all did a great job helping spot the dragonflies and butterflies so we could take a closer look.

Here’s a listing of the species seen today:

Butterflies: Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, Cabbage White, Orange Sulphur, Juniper Hairstreak, Gray Hairstreak, Eastern-tailed Blue, Summer Azure, Pearl Crescent, American Lady, Common Buckeye, Red-spotted Purple, Little Wood Satyr, Silver-spotted Skipper, Wild Indigo Duskywing, Least Skipper, Fiery Skipper, Peck’s Skipper, Sachem.

Dragonflies: Prince Baskettail, Calico Pennant, Halloween Pennant, Common Pondhawk, Slaty Skimmer, Widow Skimmer, Common Whitetail, Twelve-spotted Skimmer, Blue Dasher, Wandering Glider, Spot-winged Glider, Eastern Amberwing, Black Saddlebags.

Damselflies: Fragile Forktail.

…..and one box turtle trying to stay cool in the tall grasses.


We had a great day of hunting dragons and damsels across the fine Loudoun countryside! Seven people joined us as Andy Rabin and Kevin Munroe, both real experts in dragonflies and damselflies, took us out into the field.

We started the day at 10am at Bles Park then went to Claude Moore at noon and ended the day at Kephart Bridge Landing.

In total, we had 29 species!

Dragonflies: Common Green Darner, Swamp Darner, Unicorn Clubtail, Black-shouldered Spinyleg, Prince Basketail, Umber Shadowdragon, Calico Pennant, Halloween Pennant, Common Pondhawk,Spangled Skimmer, Slaty Skimmer, Widow Skimmer, Common Whitetail, Twelve-spotted Skimmer, Blue Dasher, Spot-winger Glider, Eastern Amberwing, Autumn Meadowhawk, Black Saddlebags

Damselflies: American Rubyspot, Blue-fronted Dancer, Powdered Dancer, Blue-tipped Dancer, Dusky Dancer, Familiar Bluet, Stream Bluet, Citrine Forktail, Eastern Forktail, Southern Spreadwing

Throughout the day, we practiced our netting skills, used small containers to look at individuals that we caught, and practiced how to properly hold a dragonfly for identification and release them.  The colors and patterns of all the varied species were beautiful.

Many thanks to Andy and Kevin for sharing this with us.