Common Pondhawk Erythemis simplicicollis

Males are skimmer blue with those shining white tailfeathers (cerci). The western form of the Pondhawk, which does not occur in Arkansas but west of the Rockies, has black cerci. They have been combined into this species only recently. There were murmurings that these were not distinct species previously. This species loves just about any open habitat near water. It is aggressive with anything that flies in its chosen territory. I have had males attack the turquoise ring on my finger. This is another dragon that will land on standing or very still humans and use them for good hunting perches.

Males and females are very different in this dominant species. Numbers are often uncountable in prime wet summer habitat. This is the female. She, you'll notice, is eating another dragonfly. That is a male Amberwing going down. I have even seen Pondhawks eat Pondhawks.

Eating anything apparently, this female snatched this Chrysops deer fly from around me and munched the head first as usual.

Eating here a Little Wood Satyr here at Bell Slough. On this day of the 2015 butterfly count, we counted many butterflies in the jaws of dragons. 

Great Pondhawk Erythemis vesiculosa

The needle in the haystack. Record Great Pondhawk for Red Slough and Oklahoma. David Arbour spotted it flying up behind me in 2008. Subsequently Charles Mills found the first Arkansas record. Dennis Paulson's newest dragon book, the Dragonfllies and Damselflies of the East, has the map intruding into these corners of the two states already. Note this species longer slimmer looking abdomen which is visible in flight. The bluer greens overall and wider abdominal bands. Both sexes are marked alike. No blue males.

And Charles found both sexes at Grassy Lake in May 2012, possibly in a local breeding group. This is his male lateral.