While photographing wildflowers a couple of mornings ago, I ran across an interesting dragonfly, the Eastern Pondhawk (Erythemis simplicicollis). I’ve also seen reference to these dragonflies as Green Clearwings. First, here are a few images I captured in my wildflower garden (on Gray-headed Coneflowers), then I’ll follow up with a few interesting facts about these wonderful, flying dragons:
Some interesting facts about the Eastern Pondhawks:
- These dragonflies are considered to be “ferocious”, often dining on smaller insects and damselflies. But they have been observed even eating one another.
- Females and newly emerged males have green and dark brown bodies. As they mature, males begin turning blue, starting from the abdomen and progressing forward. During the summer, you can find a large variety of sexes/stages of Eastern Pondhawks; some males will be green/dark brown, while others are all blue and others that are in the process of changing their colors.
- Both males and females have green eyes.
- The Eastern Pondhawk is considered to be a medium-sized dragonfly … about an inch long, with a 2-inch wingspan.
- These dragonflies often land on plant leaves that are floating on the surface of a pond.
As you can see, I was photographing a male. No females were seen, but probably would have found some if I had walked across the road to my neighbor’s pond. Guess I’ll have to check that out some time. :o)
Photographic Equipment Used:
- Canon 5D Mark 3 body
- Canon EF 180mm, f/3.5 macro lens
- Bogen 3221 tripod + Studioball ballhead
- ISO 500
- Aperture f/3.5
- Shutter 1/3200 sec. to 1/4000 sec.