Sunday, August 4, 2013

Blue Dasher Dragonfly

The male blue dasher, Pachydiplax longipennis, has a blue abdomen with a black tip. Click to enlarge. 
The female blue dasher has longitudinal yellow stripes on the abdomen. 
Male and female blue dashers are about an inch and a half long. Both have wavy yellow and brown stripes on the thorax, the middle body section where wings and legs are attached.

The blue dasher is one of the most common and abundant dragonflies in the United States. They can be found near still water almost anywhere from Mexico through southern Canada. After mating, females lay eggs on the water; the dragonfly's immature stages are aquatic. Adults capture and eat small flying insects.

The poem below, by the Welsh poet W. H. Davies, inspired the song "Dragonfly" by Fleetwood Mac.

The Dragonfly -- W. H. Davies, 1927

Now, when my roses are half buds, half flowers,
And loveliest, the king of flies has come-
It was a fleeting visit, all too brief;
In three short minutes he has seen them all,
And rested, too, upon an apple tree.

There, his round shoulders humped with emeralds,
A gorgeous opal crown set on his head,
And all those shining honours to his breast-
‘My garden is a lovely place’ thought I,
‘But is it worthy of such a guest?’

He rested there, upon the apple leaf-
‘See, see,’ I cried amazed, ‘his opal crown,
And all those emeralds clustered around his head!’
‘His breast, my dear, how lovely was his breast-’
The voice of my Beloved quickly said.

‘See, see his gorgeous crown, that shines
With all those jewels bulging round its rim-’
I cried aloud at night, in broken rest.
Back came the answer quickly, in my dream-
‘His breast, my dear, how lovely was his breast!’


  1. It's dragonfly season! Everyone is taking photos of these winged mosquito-chomping jewels of the sky. Thanks for sharing the beauty.