Sunday, September 13, 2009

Blue-Faced Meadowhawk Dragonfly

This gorgeous dragonfly is one of my favorites. Their coloring is beautiful and they are usually easy to approach. This lovely dragon is the Blue-Faced Meadowhawk (Sympetrum ambiguum). They are found throughout most of the Eastern United States, with exception to the extreme North Eastern States.  They are average in size at approximately 2 inches, it isn't their size that is impressive, it is the color. The males have an all blue face and thorax, complete with blue eyes, and their abdomen is shockingly red. The females look very much like the males, except their abdomen is brownish in color.

Picture 1.) Mating Pair
Picture 2.) Female
Picture 3.) Male
Picture 4.) Close-up of males wing

Males will perch and wait for passing females. There is heavy competition among males seeking mates. It is common to see them chasing each other for vantage points, to try and gain the upper hand. If you act aggressive, yet perch in an attractive manner, what female can resist? I must say our male here looks quite dashing, and charming. He was definitely the top dog of his small area, he chased numerous males away from his grassy perch, only to return seconds later and pose so nicely. 
They seem to favor woodland ponds and swamplands and the areas nearby. The ones pictured here were photographed near a wetland area on our farm. From the information I gathered on these dragonflies it appears that they are not common, and in some parts of their range they are quite rare or even endangered. I feel very privileged to have them in secure numbers here on our farm. They are a joy to watch, and they certainly brighten any landscape. When you factor in all the insects they eat, what is not to love about these flying jewels?


  1. Great photos.
    Beautiful colors.

    You always do a great job of focusing on the eye. That's where the soul is, or at least where the expression is. Well done.

    Come visit I C U Nature,
    Troy & Martha
    False Gaura and Giant Walking Stick.

  2. Thank you Troy, you always say such nice things. I am getting ready to post a picture of a male and female mating, that I just took this evening. It is tricky getting those good eye shots with insects, you never know if they will sit still or not, usually not!...LOL. I will pop over to your site in just a sec and check out the walking stick. That is one insect I've yet to get a picture of.

  3. Dragonflies and damselflies have interesting mating style. Love your photos and information.

  4. Dragonflies are great subjects to photograph if you can get them to sit still long enough. Thanks for the compliments. I was certainly lucky to get the mating picture.