Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Common Whitetail Dragonfly

This picture I took Friday at Centennial Park in Tinley Park, IL. He was resting on the ground near a retention pond. Centennial Park has a bridge that goes over a little stream which leads you to a nice paved trail around the pond. Many varieties of trees, grasses, and wildflowers grow on this large property. I have viewed much wildlife here, birds, hawks, butterflies, dragonflies, finks, bunnies, groundhog, etc. Tinley did a good job reserving this area as a natural refuge in the midst of suburban houses, condos, and way too many strip malls.

Lets learn about the Common Whitetail Dragonfly. This one photographed is a mature male. He has a bright white abdomen which is used to display around other males in order to defend his territory. The female is brown. They have nearly a 360 range of vision, they live by ponds, marshes or waterways, and eat insects around this area. Whitetails rest on objects near water or on the ground, which is were I found this guy.

I drew this sketch of the wings because when I first spotted a whitetail, I thought his wings were scalloped on the edges like the bottom "incorrect" sketch. Fact is, the tips are transparent and unless you find yourself a few inches away from him, you cannot see it. Too cool.

Watch out whitetails, because the birds, fish and frogs want you for dinner!