High tech aerial predators with complex structures and lifestyles. Dragonflies are reason enough to walk out into the summer woods. Most have long periods of life as underwater predators in their nymphal stage. The nymphs are competitive ratchet-jawed things. Adult dragonflies, emerged and winged, are lucky to live as long as three months with the exception of a few migratory species that can extend this perhaps for a few months but likely no longer. The nymphs are important to aquatic food chains and are good measures of water quality and stream ecologic health. They are not often seen unless you go looking for them. Adult dragons can be heavy mosquito predators and very good animals to invite or encourage into your yard with the appropriate water sources.

Dragonflies are excellent but elusive macro camera subjects which are a challenge to approach at times. Arkansas presently has 102 documented species (Listed here). These dragon photo pages include a few dragons from outside the state and, certainly, I do not have images here of all the recorded Arkansas dragons yet. I have still to see many of the rarer creatures myself. The related damselfly group is not included here.

The photos are lumped by three large family groups and then a collected group of "others" for convenience. Some of the pictures are of handheld individuals in order to best show the close-up features. I do not collect permanent specimens. I leave that to the experts. Most of the photos include information about the subjects. Scroll down in the image frame to read the text.

Several of the essays on the short pieces page concern dragonflies as well.

 

 
 

Aeshnids

Gomphids

Libellulids

 

Other Dragons