Dragonflies & Damselflies

The checklist of Massachusetts dragonflies and damselflies is from A Field Guide to the Dragonflies and Damselflies of Massachusetts by Blair Nikula, Jennifer L. Loose, & Matthew R. Burne. Those in italics are have not been found in Middlesex county after 1950(1), of which Lexington is a part.


Petaluridae (Petaltails)

Tachopteryx thoreyi (Gray Petaltail)

Aeshnidae (Darners)

Basiaeschna janata (Springtime Darner)

Epiaeschna heros (Swamp Darner)

Nasiaeschna pentacantha (Cyrano Darner)

Aeshna umbrosaAeshna umbrosaAeshna umbrosamale Aeshna umbrosa (Shadow Darner) (Lexington, 7/13/03 11pm (3), Lower Vine Brook, 7/19/2020 5pm) This monster was buzzing around my moth light looking for a snack (male, first 3 photos). It got distracted by my head lamp and flew into my mouth! Lucky for it, I wasn't hungry.

Aeschna tuberculiferaAeschna tuberculiferaAeschna tuberculiferaAeschna tuberculiferaovipositing female Aeschna tuberculifera (Black-tipped Darner) (Parker Meadow, 8/11/07 4pm)

Aeschna canadensis (Canada Darner)

Aeshna verticalisAeshna verticalisAeshna verticalis? (Green-striped darner) (Burlington, 10/3/04 12pm)

Aeshna constrictaAeshna constrictafemale male Aeshna constricta (Lance-tipped Darner) (Lower Vine Brook, 8/31/09 4pm, Willard's Woods, 8/8/2004 1pm)

Aeschna eremita (Lake Darner)

Aeschna subarctica (Subarctic Darner)

Aeschna interrupta (Variable Darner)

male female Rhionaeschna mutata (Spatterdock Darner) (Lower Vine Brook, 6/4/2020 5pm (1), 2nd male & female 6/8/2020 1pm)

Aeschna clepsydra (Mottled Darner)

Gomphaeschna antilope (Taper-tailed Darner)

Gomphaeschna furcillata (Harlequin Darner)

Anax juniusfemale Green Darnermale Anax juniusAnax juniusemerging Anax junius (Common Green Darner) (Lower Vine Brook, 7/19/08 9am,Willard's Woods, 6/29/13 5pm, Willard's Woods, 6/30/02 11am, Whipple Hill, 9/1/09 12:50pm & 1:28pm, pink male 9/11/2019 5pm)

Anax longipes (Comet Darner)

Boyeria grafiana (Ocellated Darner)

Boyeria vinosa (Fawn Darner) (Lower Vine Brook, 7/20/14 1pm) On a conifer trunk by a stream, just as the books says. It had malformed wings.

Gomphidae (Clubtails)

Hagenius brevistylus (Dragonhunter)

Gomphus exilis (Lancet Clubtail)

Gomphus lividus (Ashy Clubtail)

Gomphus spicatus (Dusky Clubtail)

Gomphus borealis (Beaverpond Clubtail)

Gomphus descriptus (Harpoon Clubtail)

Gomphus quadricolor (Rapids Clubtail)

Gomphus abbreviatus (Spine-crowned Clubtail)

Gomphus adelphus (Mustached Clubtail)

Gomphus vastus (Cobra Clubtail)

Gomphus ventricosus (Skillet Clubtail)

Gomphus fraternus (Midland Clubtail)

Dromogomphus spinosus (Black-shoudered spinyleg) (Lower Vine Brook, 6/29/2021 6pm)

Stylurus amnicola (Riverine Clubtail)

Stylurus spiniceps (Arrow Clubtail)

Stylurus scudderi (Zebra Clubtail)

Progomphus obscurus (Common Sanddragon)

Arigomphus furciferArigomphus furcifer (Lilypad Clubtail) (Willard's Woods, 7/7/01 5pm, 6/3/2002 12pm)

Arigomphus villosipes (Unicorn Clubtail)

Lanthus parvulus (Northern Pygmy Clubtail)

Lanthus vernalis (Southern Pygmy Clubtail)

Stylogomphus albistylus (Least Clubtail)

Ophiogomphus howei (Pygmy Snaketail)

Ophiogomphus aspersus (Brook Snaketail)

Ophiogomphus carolus (Riffle Snaketail)

Ophiogomphus mainensis (Maine Snaketail)

Ophiogomphus rupinsulensis (Rusty Snaketail)

Cordulegastridae (Spiketails)

Cordulegaster diastatops (Delta-spotted Spiketail)

Cordulegaster maculata (Twin-spotted Spiketail)

Cordulegaster obliqua (Arrowhead Spiketail)

Macromiidae (Cruisers)

Didymops transversa (Stream Cruiser)

Macromia illinoiensis (Illinois River Cruiser)

Corduliidae (Emeralds)

Somatochlora walshii (Brush-tipped Emerald)

Somatochlora tenebrosa (Clamp-tipped Emerald)

Somatochlora williamsoni (Williamson's Emerald)

Somatochlora elongata (Ski-tailed Emerald)

Somatochlora linearis (Mocha Emerald)

Somatochlora kennedyi (Kennedy's Emerald)

Somatochlora forcipata (Forcipate Emerald)

Somatochlora incurvata (Incurvate Emerald)

Somatochlora cingulata (Lake Emerald)

Somatochlora georgiana (Coppery Emerald)

Somatochlora minor (Oscellated Emerald)

male female Epitheca cynosura (Common Baskettail) (Lower Vine Brook, 5/31/2020 1pm, 6/2/2020 2pm)

Epitheca canis (Beaverpond Baskettail)

Epitheca spinigera (Spiny Baskettail)

Epitheca princeps (Prince Baskettail)

Helocordulia uhleri (Uhler's Sundragon)

Cordulia shurtleffi (American Emerald)

Dorocordulia lepida (Petite Emerald)

Dorocordulia libera? (Racket-tailed Emerald) (Lower Vine Brook, 5/31/2020 1pm) I've been back to the same spot every day for a week, but haven't been able to find it again. On the plus side, within 20' I was able to find 2 more new-to-me dragonflies and 2 new-to-me flower flies.

Neurocordulia obsoleta (Umber Shadowdragon)

Neurocordulia yamaskanensis (Stygian Shadowdragon)

Williamsonia fletcheri (Ebony Boghaunter)

Williamsonia lintneri (Ringed Boghaunter)

Libellulidae (Skimmers)

male female Perithemis tenera (Eastern Amberwing) (Lower Vine Brook, 7/14/2019 4pm, 7/1/08 1pm, 7/25/10 1pm)

Blue dasher with eggsmale female Pachydiplax longipennis (Blue Dasher) (Parker Meadow, 8/20/12 11am, Lower Vine Brook, 8/21/2020 12pm, Lexington, 6/30/02 11am, 7/3/02 12pm, 7/7/02 12pm)

Erythemis simplicicollismale female Erythemis simplicicollis (Eastern pondhawk) (Parker Meadow, 7/29/07 1pm, Willard's Woods, 7/4/02 11am, Lower Vine Brook, 7/6/12 1pm)

Libellula cyanea (Spangled Skimmer)

Libellula incestaSlaty SkimmerLibellula incesta (Slaty Skimmer) (Lower Vine Brook, 8/23/09 2pm, Willard's Woods, 8/4/02 11am, Lower Vine Brook, 8/15/2020 2pm (2))

Libellula vibrans (Great Blue Skimmer)

Libellula axilena (Bar-winged Skimmer)

Libellula deplanata (Blue Corporal)

Libellula exusta (White Corporal)

Libellula julia (Chalk-fronted Skimmer)

male Common Whitetail femalefemale Plathemis lydia juvenile malejuvenile male Libellula (Plathemis) lydia (White Tail) (Willard's Woods 6/23/02 1pm, 6/24/05 6pm, Lexington 7/5/05, Willard's Woods 7/23/06 12pm)

Libellula pulchellamale Libellula pulchellaLibellula pulchellafemale, Libellula pulchella (Twelve-spotted skimmer) (Parker Meadow, 6/28/07 11am, Willard's Woods, 7/19/09, 8/12/11 1pm)

Widow Skimmerjuvenile male Libellula luctuosafemale Libellula luctuosa (Widow Skimmer) (Willard's Woods, 6/30/02 11am, Lower Vine Brook, 7/13/08 9am)

Libellula auripennis (Golden-winged Skimmer)

Libellula needhami (Needham's Skimmer)

Libellula semifasciataLibellula semifasciata (Painted Skimmer) (Willard's Woods, 6/24/07 11am)

Libellula quadrimaculatafemale Libellula quadrimaculata (Four-spotted Skimmer) (Lower Vine Brook, 5/9/10 1pm)

Calico PennantCelithemis elisa (Calico Pennant), female Calethemis elisaimmature male (Willard's Woods, 6/30/02 11am, 6/19/05 4pm, 6/25/05 2pm)

Halloween PennantCelithemis eponina (Brown-Spotted Yellow-wing / Halloween Pennant) (Willard's Woods, 6/19/04 1pm)

Celithemis fasciata (Banded Pennant)

Celithemis martha (Martha's Pennant)

Nannothemis bella (Elfin Skimmer)

Erythrodiplax berenice (Seaside Dragonlet)

Half-Banded Topermating male (top, red) & female (bottom, greenish) Sympetrum rubicundulum or internum (Ruby Meadowhawk) (Willard's Woods, 8/4/02 11am, Lower Vine Brook, 7/5/2021 3pm, Willard's Woods, 8/25/01 1pm) The Ruby, Cherry-faced, and occasionally White-faced Meadowhawks all look essentially identical, so I have given up trying to distinguish them.

Sympetrum obtrusum (White-faced Meadowhawk)

mating male (top, red) & female (bottom, yellowish) female immature male Sympetrum vicinum (Yellow-legged Meadowhawk) (Whipple Hill, 9/1/09 1pm)

Sympetrum costiferum (Saffron-winged Meadowhawk)

Sympetrum semicinctum (Band-winged Meadowhawk)

Sympetrum corruptum (Variagated Meadowhawk)

Leucorrhinia hudsonia (Hudsonian Whiteface)

Leucorrhinia intactaLeucorrhinia intacta, male (Dot-tailed whiteface) (Willard's Woods, 6/10/07 9am)

Leucorrhinia frigida (Frosted Whiteface)

Leucorrhinia glacialis (Crimson-ringed Whiteface)

Leucorrhinia proxima (Red-waisted Whiteface)

Pantala flavescens (Wandering Glider)

Pantala hymenaea (Spot-winged Glider)

Tramea carolina (Carolina Saddlebags)

Tramea laceratamale Tramea lacerata (Black Saddlebags) (Lower Vine Brook, 8/28/09 1pm)

Tramea calverti (Striped Saddlebags)

Tramea abdominalis (Vermilion Saddlebags)

Unidentified Dragonflies

Aeshna sp.Aeshna sp. (Willard's Woods, 7/23/06 11am)

Another meadowhawk?

What am I?

larva (Lower Vine Brook, 4/19/10 2pm)

larva (Lower Vine Brook, 4/19/10 2pm)

larva (Lower Vine Brook, 5/31/10 11am)

(Lower Vine Brook, 9/14/13 2pm)


Calopterygidae (Broad-winged Damsels)

Calopteryx maculataCalopteryx maculata (Ebony Jewelwing), male female (Parker Meadow, 6/28/07 11am, Lower Vine Brook, 6/19/11 2pm, Willard's Woods, 7/10/05 4pm, Lower Vine Brook, 6/22/13 11am, 7/7/13 3pm, 7/10/2021 3pm) I was able to catch the female in the last photo because it had a broken wing, and then I found a broken-winged male in roughly the same spot 2 weeks later.

Calopteryx amata (Superb Jewelwing)

Calopteryx aequabilis (River Jewelwing)

Calopteryx dimidiata (Sparkling Jewelwing)

Hetaerina americana (American Rubyspot)

Lestidae (Spreadwings)

Lestes disjunctus male (Common Spreadwing) Lestes disjunctusfemale (Willard's Woods, 8/4/02 12pm, Whipple Hill, 9/1/07 11am)

Lestes forcipatus (Sweetflag Spreadwing)

male Lestes congenerLestes congenerfemale Lestes congener (Spotted Spreadwing) (Willard's Woods, 10/1/05 12pm) Both this one and the spreadwing above are Lestes, but I'm not sure if the species are correct. I am somewhat more confident in the indentification of the female. They are hard to identify without capturing them.

Lestes unguiculatus (Lyre-tipped Spreadwing)

Lestes dryas (Emerald Spreadwing)

Lestes vigilax (Swamp Spreadwing)

Lestes inaequalis (Elegant Spreadwing)

Lestes eurinus (Amber-winged spreadwing) male (Parker Meadow, 8/4/07 5pm, 7/29/07 1pm) I am not 100% sure of this identification because I can't see any amber in the wings, but it seems the best match based on the rest of the identification criteria.

Slender SpreadwingLestes rectangularisLestes rectangularisLestes rectangularis, male (Slender Spreadwing) (Willard's Woods, Lexington, 7/7/07 11pm, Lexington, 7/7/07 11pm)

Coenagrionidae (Pond Damsels)

Chromagrion conditum (Aurora Damsel)

Enallagma civile male (Familiar Bluet) (Lexington, 8/17/02 11am)

Enallagma boreale (Boreal Bluet)

Enallagma cyathigerum (Northern Bluet)

Enallagma carunculatum (Tule Bluet)

Enallagma doubledayi (Atlantic Bluet)

Enallagma durum (Big Bluet)

Enallagma ebrium (Marsh Bluet)

Enallagma hageni (Hagen's Bluet)

Enallagma laterale (New England Bluet)

Enallagma recurvatum (Pine Barrens Bluet)

Enallagma minisculum (Little Bluet)

Enallagma traviatum (Slender Bluet)

Enallagma exsulans (Stream Bluet)

Enallagma divagans (Turquoise Bluet)

Enallagma geminatum (Skimming Bluet)

Azure Bluetfemale Enallagma aspersummale Enallagma aspersum (Azure Bluet) Enallagma aspersummating (Willard's Woods, 8/4/02 12pm, 7/15/07 2pm, Parker Meadow, 7/28/07 2pm)

Enallagma daeckii (Attenuated Bluet)

Enallagma signatum (Orange Bluet)

Enallagma vesperum (Vesper Bluet)

Enallagma pictum (Scarlet Bluet)

Coenagrion resolutum (Taiga Bluet)

Amphiagrion saucium (Eastern Red Damsel)

Ischnura verticalisfemale Argia fumipennis young femaleyoung female Ischnura verticalismale mating Ischnura verticalis, (Eastern Forktail) (Willard's Woods, 6/23/07 2pm, 7/9/06 9am, Parker Meadow, 7/28/07 2pm)

Ischnura ramburii (Rambur's Forktail)

Ischnura positaIschnura posita male (Fragile Forktail) (Willard's Woods, 6/23/07 2pm) I'm not sure what the egg-like things are attached to it's abdomen.

Ischnura prognata (Furtive Forktail)

Ischnura kellicotti (Lilypad Forktail)

Ischnura hastataIschnura hastata?, female (Citrine Forktail) (Parker Meadow, 6/28/07 11am) This is probably a female Ischnura verticalis.

Nehalennia gracilis (Sphagnum Sprite)

Nehalennia irene (Sedge Sprite)

Argia fumipennisArgia fumipennis (Variable Dancer) (North Street, 9/3/07 12pm)

Argia translata (Dusky Dancer)

Argia moestra (Powdered Dancer)

Argia apicallis (Blue-fronted Dancer)

Unidentified Damselflies

Lestes sp. (Parker Meadow, 7/28/07 2pm)

Lestes sp. (Parker Meadow, 7/28/07 2pm)

(Whipple Hill, 5/8/11 3pm)

(Lower Vine Brook, 7/10/11 3pm)

female (Whipple Hill, 6/30/13 11am)

(Lower Vine Brook, 7/14/13 12pm)

(Lower Vine Brook, 9/14/13 2pm)

(1) County list from http://www.odenews.org/county1.htm.

Identification & Links

Home Insects Spiders