Friday, August 27, 2010

Eastern Pondhawk

This beautiful green dragonfly, busy chowing down on a tiny fly is the Eastern Pondhawk (Erythemis simpliciollis). Like all dragonflies they are predatory and feed on a wide array of flying insects. By reaching out and grabbing their dinner with powerful legs and scooping it up to their mouth to dine on, they give a whole new meaning to the phrase "fast food".  You will find them near ponds, lakes, creeks, and other bodies of water. They will also be found away from water in meadows and open fields searching for insect prey.

Immature males will be powdery blue (picture 2), and as they age they will be mostly green. Females are also green with black spots on their abdomen. These are a medium sized dragonfly measuring up to 2 1/2 inches.

They are found throughout the Eastern United States, as well as Arizona, Texas and New Mexico.
Mating takes place early summer. Males will patrol for females. After mating, the females will lay eggs on aquatic vegetation. The young nymphs will live an aquatic life for a year before emerging as adults.

These dragonflies also go by the name "Green Jacket" and "Common Pondhawk". They are typically easier to approach than most other species of dragonflies. With over 30,000 lenses per eye they have excellent eyesight and are next to impossible to sneak up on. With dragonflies it is more about temperament, which can vary by species, as well as individuals within each species.


  1. Does this species migrate, I know there are a few.When I first saw them I wondered about male and female being different, because I had seen both colors mating.

  2. ooh, I think this may be the species I photographed on the golf course last week in the Midwest. I'll post the golf course wildlife pics soon. Thanks so much for this super timely post!!

  3. Ma'am, I know this is an old article, but I think I may have found a mistake. I've always heard the species were sexually dimorphic, as in, they differ greatly in appearance due to gender. I believe mature males are blue.

    Hope this helps!