White-tail Dragonfly

By William T. Hathaway

White-tail Dragonfly

The male White-tailed Dragonfly (Plathemis Lydia) is easy to identify because of its bright white abdomen. Another interesting characteristic is its habit of resting with head facing down while wings are drooping in a forward position. The white abdomen is held in a raised position.

Of the many dragonflies around local ponds and streams we can be fairly certain in naming “old white tail.” Amateur naturalists often find it gratifying when they are confident in naming a species of plant or animal.

A student hiker netted this specimen from the path along the edge of Pete's Pond in the White Oak Mountain Wildlife Management Area in Pittsylvania County, Virginia. We anaesthetized the specimen, took its picture, and turned it loose to fly again.