Common Whitetail Libellula (Plathemis) lydia

A juvenile male of this very common dragonfly. Appears fairly early in the spring and stays until nearly the bitter end of summer. This male shows the wing spotting pattern of the adult males. They have the abdomen of an adult female. The females have three spots on each wing. Note the broken white/yellow line along the length of the abdomen and the relatively widened abdomen overall. Loves open paths, woodland breaks or trails near open water. They can swarm in good habitat or even average habitat.

The striking adult male has an abdomen like a white chalk light that strikes the eye in the sun. Unmistakable.

Hard to get the camera contrast right with such an electric white object in the viewfinder. This Petit Jean male is about 50 watts I would say.

The female has an abdomen similar to juvenile males but the wing pattern is different. Often dense in spring and early summer along roads and paths through the woods near water.

Compare with this juvenile male who is starting to white out the abdomen. Looks partially chalky here. The wings of the male have the big irregular squares distally with the finger pointing outward.