31, 2010
Hi Daniel
Here are two photos of dragonflies taken today. I noticed one has much more white, I have been wondering if one is male and the other female or are they two different species? Thanks You very much and have a wonderful day.
North Middle Tennessee

Male Common Whitetail

Dear Richard,
Both of your individuals are Common Whitetails, Plathemis lydia, and both are males.  The individual with the white abdomen is a mature male.  The other is immature.  According to BugGuide:  “Immature males have the same body pattern as females but the same wing pattern as mature males.
BugGuide also indicates: Females have a short, stout abdomen with several oblique dorsolateral white or pale yellow markings against a brown ground color; each wing has three black evenly-spaced blotches rather than the two uneven blotches on the wings of the male.  BugGuide has a nice image illustrating the difference between the male and female.  The species ranges throughout the contiguous United States and much of Canada.

Common Whitetail

One Response to Common Whitetail Dragonflies

  1. Richard says:

    Thank You so much Daniel, I never would have guessed that the difference was just a matter of age. I have learned more from you and your website then any place in a long time. (Just proves that you are never too old to learn.)

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