Common Whitetail at the Pond (Well-Nigh Wordless Wednesday)

I feel that, every now and again, it’s worth taking a moment to pause and ponder how beautiful the world around us is.  Scenes like this:

Common whitetail at the pond

Common whitetail at the pond

… really help me center myself and relax.  That might be a very common dragonfly, one that I see throughout the season in my area, but the sight of them never grows old.  They remind me how amazing our world is, and how many things I’ve yet to experience.  Do any of you get the same feeling in nature?

Happy Wednesday, everyone!


Unless otherwise stated, all text, images, and video are copyright © C. L. Goforth

What Time is it in Nature: Common Whitetail Dragonfly

I wrote this for the blog at the museum where I work a few weeks ago. Thought you all might be interested!

NC Museum of Natural Sciences Blogs

Summer is nearly here, and the dragonflies have returned to Prairie Ridge!  On any given day, you might see 15 or 20 species of dragonflies and damselflies at the pond, but some species are more common than others.  The Common Whitetail (Plathemis lydia), as the name suggests, is one of the most commonly spotted dragonflies at Prairie Ridge.

Common whitetail male at the pond

Common Whitetails are found throughout the US and in every county in North Carolina, so they are one of the most common species in the country.  They are medium-sized dragonflies that reach lengths of just under 2 inches with wingspans of about 2.25 inches and have relatively broad abdomens.  Males, as seen in the image above, have wide black or dark brown bands along the center of each wing and a bright white abdomen.  Females look quite different, sporting three black spots along the upper edge of each wing and brown abdomens with…

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Well-Nigh Wordless Wednesday: First Dragonfly Photo of the Year

Well, this is it: my first dragonfly photo of the year.  I’ve seen loads of dragonflies, but I am often busy teaching when I am at the pond and never seem to have a chance to get photos.  I got this shot one day when the system locked me out of my computer at work and I needed to kill some time while I waited for it to be unlocked.  Took it with the entirely wrong kind of camera too, but it turned out alright.  I give you the common whitetail:

Plathemis lydia

Common whitetail, Plathemis lydia

This is, as the name suggests, a truly common species in the US.  We have dozens of males flying around the pond each day while many females stalk prey on the prairie.  But, they are spectacular!  They might be common as dirt, but how can anyone tire of seeing something that beautiful?

Speaking of dragonflies, I got some fun photos over the weekend that I’m eager to share.  Look for them soon!


Unless otherwise stated, all text, images, and video are copyright © C. L. Goforth