• Eastern Pondhawk (Erythemis simplicicollis). Boca Raton, FL, March 20, 2015.

    Dragonflies and damselflies returning to the yard

    By / March 20, 2015

    After a dry beginning to March (and no rain since then, but at least the heat’s moderated a bit for the past few days), the odonates have started returning to the yard, just in time for the equinox! One or two of them run into mishaps: but by and large they are still the most… Read more

  • Eastern Pondhawk (Erythemis simplicicollis) enjoying a repast of Blue Dasher (

    Here there be dragons

    By / September 2, 2014

    Wow, a record for me. Three days in a row at the Yamato Scrub! My older son, Eric, surprised me midmorning on Labor Day by suggesting that we go to Yamato Scrub. I seized on the suggestion, and off we went. I brought snacks and a drink to keep him occupied, and it worked! I… Read more

  • Celithemis eponina, Halloween Pennant, close-up. Boca Raton, FL, May 24, 2013.

    Backyard bug profile: Celithemis eponina

    By / May 24, 2013

    The beginning of spring, by which I mean the arrival of the rainy season, is one of my favorite times of year here in south Florida. The damselflies and dragonflies are out in significant numbers again, dotting the grasses and trees searching for food. Earlier this week there were dozens of dragonflies cruising the back… Everglades Sprite (Nehalennia pallildula). Boca Raton, FL, May 4, 2013.

    After the rains, the odonates appear

    By / May 5, 2013

    South Florida is typically described as having two seasons: wet (May through October) and dry (November through April). Hydrologists like to split this up a bit further, with the wet season (now called high rainfall, low evapotranspiration season) running June through October, and the dry season now divided into two subseasons: low rainfall, low evapotranspiration… Read more

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    Cold spells=insect close-ups

    By / November 8, 2012

    The first few days of fall in Florida often bring cold (well, cool) fronts to the region. This year we’re already on our second or third round of long-sleeve days, so I thought this might be a good time to show off what I’ve been able to capture of the cold-slowed insect fauna. Here’s a… Read more

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    Dragonfly eyes

    By / October 4, 2012

    For those who know a few dead languages, it probably comes as no surprise that dragonflies have excellent vision. The very word dragon (via Latin draco, from the Greek δρακοιν) means “to see clearly.” And, as the late Philip Corbet noted in his magnum opus, “no other insects have compound eyes that are larger or contain more ommatidia [facets]…. Read more

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    Dragonflies in 3D

    By / April 23, 2012

    If you are At All into dragonflies, you should check out the 3D image library at odonatacentral.org. Absolutely amazing. I became a member several years ago and have checked in from time to time since then. I plan on visiting more frequently now.

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    New backyard bug: Anax junius, Common Green Darner

    By / February 17, 2012

    A couple of years ago I was going through my photo files and ran across a picture of a pretty dragonfly, Anax junius, the common green darner. I had seen this darner on the trail at Fern Forest, and since I was posting about dragonflies at the time, I wrote a brief piece about it….

    Dragonfly week comes to a close

    By / September 10, 2010

    Wow, my first-ever Dragonfly Week is already drawing to a close, and I have so many more things I was going to write about! I had planned to at least mention some of the adaptations that go into the incredible aerial feats performed by these “primitive” insects, like their offset thorax, their wings (structurally, they… Read more

  • Another darner from a couple of years ago

    By / September 9, 2010

    Going through my old photo files has been fun for me; last night I found a slightly better photo of Coryphaeschna ingens, the Regal Darner [UPDATE:Gynacantha nervosa, Twilight Darner] who visited us during Tropical Storm Fay. I also ran across a couple of untagged photos of other species that I knew I’d seen, but couldn’t… Read more

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