Currently viewing the category: "Dragonflies and Damselflies"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Saw this in Languedoc, France
Location: Languedoc, Mediterranean Coast, Southern France
January 28, 2013 4:40 pm
Hi Bugman, I cycled through masses of these by a canal in long grass in Languedoc, Southern France last September. Any idea what it is please? Thanks.
Signature: Chris Sherwell


Dear Chris,
This is some species of Dragonfly.  Though they are revered in some countries like Japan, Dragonflies more than most insects are saddled with a plethora of maleficent common names including Devil’s Darning Needle, Ear Cutter, Snake Doctor and Eye Poker.  Many countries have odd superstitions and lore centered on Dragonflies and they are feared unnecessarily by many.  Dragonflies are beneficial predators that help control the populations of troublesome insects like mosquitoes.  Dragonflies will not sting nor bite humans.  While we don’t recognize this species, we did locate a photo on FlickR that appears to be the same species and it is also from France.

Update:  February 2, 2013
Hi Bugman, with your expertise as a starting point I’ve trawled the web for photos and found out it was a female Red Veined Darter. “Sympetrum fonscolombii can be seen on the wing throughout the year around the Mediterranean” – bang on for where we saw it in Southern France.
Here’s a photo that almost matches mine!
Thanks for your help. The web would be a poorer place without people like you!
Rgds, Chris,

Thanks so much for the update.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Daniel – Another Dragonfly Request
Location: Hawthorne, CA
October 20, 2012 8:24 pm
Saw this out in the back today whilst trimming Marty’s beard & moustache. I know dragonflies aren’t your favorite identification requests, but maybe you will give it a try? It’s a very small dragonfly in comparison to others I’ve seen in the yard.
Signature: Thanks, Anna Carreon

Variegated Meadowhawk

Hi Anna,
We believe we have correctly identified your Dragonfly as a Variegated Meadowhawk,
Sympetrum corruptum, thanks to photos posted on BugGuide.  The Variegated Meadowhawk is described on BugGuide as being:  “mottled red, white and brown.”

Hi Daniel,
Thank you very much!  I believe that is what it is.  Wish I had your knack for bug identification.

Thanks Anna,
Though we cannot always remember names, we generally remember that we have identified a particular insect in the past, and like other times, we found this identification by searching our own archives.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Dragonfly variant or something else altogether?
Location: Houston, Texas
October 6, 2012 9:35 am
October, Houston TX. Looks like a dragonfly with bee/wasp markings and fuzz. Two large black leaflike appendages. About 2.5” long (based on the brick it’s perched on).
Signature: puzzled


Dear puzzled,
You are correct that this is a Dragonfly.  It is one of the Saddlebags in the genus
Tramea.  It most closely resembles the Black Saddlebags, Tramea lacerata, especially the individual in this photo from BugGuide.  The info page on BugGuide states:  “Large dark ‘saddlebags’ on hindwings distinctive. Could be confused with Carolina or Red Saddlebags in poor light. Flies constantly, often gliding, perches infrequently.”  It is reiterated later that the Black Saddlebags “Seldom perches” which makes your photograph a lucky snap.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Location: Pond setting on bottom
September 16, 2012 3:39 am
Hi! I found these bugs on the bottom of my pond. There were about 40 or so of them huddled together. I looked online to see if their photo matches any other bug photo found online. The closest I got to were ”dragonfly nymphs”. If you could identify these bugs it would be appreciated. Thank you!
Signature: Puzzled Pond Owner

Dragonfly Naiad

Dear Puzzled Pond Owner,
You are correct.  These are immature Dragonflies and they are called Naiads, as are many aquatic insect nymphs.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Unidentified damselfly with orange forked tail
Location: Ontario, Lake Nipissing
September 13, 2012 10:09 pm
Hello What’s That Bug,
I have a photo of a damselfly that I can’t identify – it doesn’t look like any phase of the Eastern forktail damselfly that I know of – and the image doesn’t seem to match other species either. Do you know what this species of damselfly is?
Signature: Noah Cole


Hi Noah,
Damselfly identification to the species level can be very challenging.  We are posting your lovely photo and inviting our readers to assist in the correct identification.  It is getting late and we still have to grade some student work.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Female Blue Dasher (Pachydiplax longipennis)
Location: Naperville, IL
August 21, 2012 9:46 pm
Hi Daniel~
I do believe this is a female blue dasher, from its appearance, its prevalence in Illinois, and its habit of perching, flying away, and then returning to the exact spot to perch again, which I understand is common of skimmers in the Libellulidae family of dragonflies. This seems to be the time of year when dragonflies abound in these parts.
All the best!
Signature: -Dori Eldridge

Female Blue Dasher

Hi Dori,
It is always a pleasure getting your lovely photos.  We agree that this appears to be a female Blue Dasher and it is a perfect match to this image on BugGuide.  The description from BugGuide is:  “A small blue dragonfly with a white face, a black tip to the abdomen, and a black-and-yellow-striped thorax. Females are recognized by the narrow yellow parallel stripes on the abdomen. Both sexes have an amber patch at the base of each hindwing. Males develop a sky-blue (or Carolina-blue) abdomen when they approach maturity.”  Your close-up provided an excellent view of the white face.

Female Blue Dasher

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination