Gray Petaltail Tachyopteryx thoreyi

An excellent dragonfly. Should be the first one in your field guide. The first I ever discovered was in the western Ouachita Mountains. And it landed on my shoulder after making a looping turnaround off a telephone pole. Virtually everyone I've seen since made a try for me or landed on me. This one just missed because I reflexively netted it before I knew what it was up to. I believe it was headed for my kneecap. They do like a nice upright human leg or shoulder however. I like to imagine them doing the same thing to a Mastodon butt.

Note that "square-diamond, square-diamond" alternating pattern and that distinctive light gray coloration. This is a large dragon. I have never seen a female. The males fly circuits up treetrunks looking for the females. So I presume they spend a lot of time on tree trunks. This is a dragon whose larval form comes to age in wet seeps and not in frank water pools. A primitive trait. This one along the 1808 road in Pope county, still a favorite haunt for me and these animals.

Here is a side view in hand showing the long legs and alternating color markings.

A male from Pope county with a Spicebush Swallowtail kill. A large kill for a large dragonfly.