Thursday, June 23, 2016
Like all dragonflies they begin their life in water as nymphs or naiads, feeding on aquatic insects and tiny minnows. They will emerge from the water and shed their skin in their final instar or molt to their adult form. Adult females vary somewhat in color from adult males. Females look very much like immature males and have yellow stripes on either side of their abdomen and a yellow stripe down the center of their thorax. Adult males eventually lose the yellow stripes on the abdomen and they become a powdery blue. They are medium to large sized dragonflies with a wingspan up to 3 inches.
They are found in areas near slow moving streams, small lakes, ponds and other still waters. We have them in our backyard koi pond as well as a few other species. It is always entertaining to watch them as they chase other males away and compete for females. Like all dragonflies they are carnivores and feed on other insects and they are welcome guests to the backyard as they feed on moths, flies and mosquitoes.