Blue Dasher dragonfly (female) © Charles Zapolski

Take 5: Dashing Dragonflies

Plentiful and easy to spot, dragonflies are some of the largest insects you’re likely to see in Massachusetts. They come in a dazzling array of colors, some even appearing iridescent in sunlight. Best of all, adult odonates eat a steady diet of other flying insects, including those pesky mosquitoes and black flies.

The summer issue of Explore, Mass Audubon’s member magazine, included an “Ode to Odonates,” highlighting the dragonflies and damselflies that make up the order Odonata. Learn more about odonates, common species found in Massachusetts (more than 160 have been recorded!), and how to tell the difference between dragonflies and damselflies on our website.

Here are five stunning dragonfly photographs that were submitted to our Picture This: Your Great Outdoors photo contest in past years. The 2018 contest is open now through the end of September, so submit your great nature photos today!

Ruby Meadowhawk dragonfly (male) © Kerri Hoey

Ruby Meadowhawk (male) © Kerri Hoey

Blue Dasher dragonfly (female) © Charles Zapolski

Blue Dasher (female) © Charles Zapolski

Eastern Pondhawk dragonfly (female) © Gary Goguen

Eastern Pondhawk (female) © Gary Goguen

Twelve-spotted Skimmer dragonfly © Sharon Siter

Twelve-spotted Skimmer © Sharon Siter

Halloween Pennant dragonfly (male) © Teresa Taylor

Halloween Pennant (male) © Teresa Taylor

 

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