Eastern Pondhawk

By William T. Hathaway

Eastern Pondhawk (Erythemis simplicicollis)

The Eastern Pondhawk is also known as the Green Clearwing, Snake Doctor, and other local names. It is a common species with a widespread distribution. Females and immature males are blue, and mature males are green — a situation that is confusing to some entomologists. My photo was of a male at Pete's Pond in Pittsylvania County, Virginia.

One of the most disappointing features of dragonfly collecting is that captured and pinned specimens soon have faded colors; the original reflective flashes of bright, colorful hues can no longer be enjoyed as they were in live specimens. Fortunately, modern cameras can capture colorful images if the specimen is alive or recently captured. Some scientific studies indicate that color changes within the same species are due to a difference in temperatures.