Fly Dragonhunter Fly

Thought I’d go with a Dragonfly post for today since I’m still trying to give you a break from the barrage of birds you had to put up with last month.  Trust me, there are plenty more to come from our feathered friends but in due time.  Until then, let’s take a look at a subject that has a tendency to drive me completely bonkers when trying to identify them.

You would think that a creature with so many unique colors and distinct features would be a breeze when it comes to determining what it is.   Instead, I liken it to trying to trying to identify a specific type of Sparrow.  Countless hours are spent interrogating the web for any clear cut way to label them.   Too bad I can’t show you the number of tabs I have open on my browser right now – there must be close to thirty of them in all each providing  a close reference shot or pointing to a guided ID site.  Pretty sure this is the same troubles I had with identifying the previous set of Dragonflies (link here).  Guessing I gave up then since there was no identification there.  It was a different Dragonfly for sure so that would not have helped me much. My consensus at this time from all the references is this creature is a Dragonhunter.  Greg Lasley’s site (link here) had a sample which comes pretty close.  The coloring in his showed definite yellow on the bottom – hoping it is just the angle that makes mine look a little darker.

Then there is the problem with apparently everyone making up their own names for them.  I first found the Insect Identification site which referred to them as Western Flying Adder (link here).  Based on that I was searching high and low for a Western Flying Addr which just produced a bunch of snakes until I found a reference on What’s That Bug site where the moderator calls into question the name (link here).  Then we have the Illinois Butterfly site (link here) that has a similar picture that is labeled as an Arrowhead Spiketail.  This prompted an hour of tracking down that name until I took a close look at the yellow markings on the top of the body near the head and decided that was different.  Oh and of course on the same website they have a picture of a Lancet Clubtail (link here) which looks damn close as well.  Sigh, why is this so hard?  Decided to spend some more time there and did find their specimen for a Dragonhunter (link here). which again looks like the best reference.  A quick check of our friends over at Wikipedia list the Dragonhunter and then state is is sometime called a Black Clubtail or a Black Dragon.  Unbelievable.  I will say the region map at the Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center (link here) was pretty sparse in our area, but unless someone has other opinions I’m going with the Dragonhunter Dragonfly.  A pretty cool name actually.

Talk about work.  If they weren’t so cool to photograph I’d probably just throw in the towel and focus on the frogs at the pond instead.

5 thoughts on “Fly Dragonhunter Fly”

  1. Yes, I agree! Based on the pictures in the two links, I would go with a Dragonhunter as well. Which is a doubly-cool name because they often feed on other dragonflies.

    OK, this reminds me of an amazing story of my childhood. When I was in about 5th or 6th grade or so, I was standing behind our house on Dawn Drive on the upper level near the back door and I got buzzed by a really large, fat green dragonfly, so large that I could see it turn and head out far over the trees in the woods and then I could barely see it bank and it came right back and buzzed my head at super high speed again before banking and going out over the woods. So I ran and got my butterfly net from the garage and waited, and here he came again at my head and I swung the net and missed him, and he banked and went over the woods again, banking again and coming again at my head, and I missed again. This went on for maybe 10 more times and then I actually caught it in my net! So I took it in the net to the front yard and a few of us kids spent some time looking at this huge green dragonfly. After awhile I let it go, and it took off and never came back. Well, it was really cool for me, anyway.

    This was a refreshing change of pace from the birds! Not that those aren’t cool, too. I’m still reading those posts.



  2. Cool – some validation on the classification – still can’t believe how hard that is .. and there’s some foreshadowing there.

    Seriously.. you admit you had a butterfly net. I thought about editing your comment to save the family name .. but decided I better not disturb your fond memory, but really, a butterfly net? I would like to point out the difference in us for all my readers – I had a Wiffleball bat that was covered in firefly guts – a good night of practicing my baseball swinging would make that bat glow nicely and with a little luck there would be some prized green glows on there too (those suckers were fast)

    … more to come


  3. Well, I had a butterfly net to catch butterflies that I would then stick a pin through live and mount on cardboard in a collection. That is, until I read a horror story about a kid that did that until a huge moth came into his room in the middle of the night and pinned him. I guess I was impressionable as a youth, unlike another youth, say, whose teachers were so concerned about the horror novels he was reading in 7th grade that they warned his parents of their worry about the future consequences of his reading choices. Not to mention the lightning bug bat thingy.



  4. Good lord, if there is a butterfly god you are in for some serious scorching in the afterlife (assuming someone puts all your entrails in little jars first).

    Regarding the teacher incident, I can’t believe you remember that and that was total bullshit – I’m in 7th grade and reading 700 page adult level books and that idiot thinks there is something wrong with me. So what if it was the Shining, Amityville Horror, Salem’s Lot .. you get the picture. He was mainly pissed off because he would give reading assignments during the day and I’d have it read by end of class and ace his tests the next day – I turned out JUST FINE in spite of his meddling. I tend to have a pretty good memory and learned to skip the meaningless words when reading – also replace all the names of fictional characters to basic names which could be visualized rather than read surprisingly works awesome – oh, and in school you can skip the adjectives – no teacher of any worth is going to ask you what color the house was or what size shoes the dumb ass clown was wearing. Just need to know that: clown killed everyone in house with knife .. or clown knife kill house


  5. AND…what was the future consequence of you reading books about killer clowns in 7th grade??? Any lasting effects, by any chance?



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