Dragonflies and damselflies are abundant in the Arboretum. While most visitors would expect to find these insects near the water filled habitats, we also see many dragonflies hunting over the prairies. This is a beautiful and diverse group of animals and many can be identified “on the wing” or from photographs if you are lucky enough to find one sitting still long enough.

A good reference guide is Dragonflies through Binoculars; A field Guide to Dragonflies of North America, by Sidney Dunkle. Also visit the Rice County Odonata web site, developed by Scott King, who has also provided the following list of species he has recorded from the Arboretum. Once at the Rice County Odonata site, click on “sites” in the upper right hand corner to find the list of species from the Arboretum and other sites in our area.


Calopterygidae – the Jewelwings

Lestidae – the Spreadwings

Coenagrionidae – the Narrow-winged Damselflies


Aeshnidae – the Darners

Gomphidae – the Clubtails

Corduliidae – the Emeralds

Libellulidae – the Skimmers

48 recorded species. Areas surveyed include the Cannon River, its floodplain ponds, restored prairies, the twin Lyman Lakes, and the small tributary Spring Creek.

Suborder: Zygoptera

Family: Calopterygidae, “the Jewelwings”

Calopteryx aequabilis  •  River Jewelwing

Calopteryx maculata  •  Ebony Jewelwing

Hetaerina americana  •  American Rubyspot

Family: Lestidae, “the Spreadwings”

Archilestes grandis  •  Great Spreadwing

Lestes rectangularis  •  Slender Spreadwing

Lestes unguiculatus  •  Lyre-tipped Spreadwing

Family: Coenagrionidae, “the Narrow-winged Damselflies”

Argia apicalis  •  Blue-fronted Dancer

Argia moesta  •  Powdered Dancer

Argia tibialis  •  Blue-tipped Dancer

Amphiagrion intermediate  •  Red Damsel

Coenagrion resolutum  •  Taiga Bluet

Enallagma anna  •  River Bluet

Enallagma antennatum  •  Rainbow Bluet

Enallagma boreale  •  Boreal Bluet

Enallagma civile  •  Familiar Bluet

Enallagma exsulans  •  Stream Bluet

Enallagma hageni  •  Hagen’s Bluet

Enallagma signatum  •  Orange Bluet

Ischnura verticalis  •  Eastern Forktail

Nehalennia irene  •  Sedge Sprite

Suborder: Anisoptera

Family: Aeshnidae, “the Darners”

Aeshna canadensis  •  Canada darner

Aeshna constricta  •  Lance-tipped Darner

Aeshna interrupta  •  Variable Darner

Aeshna umbrosa  •  Shadow Darner

Anax junius  •  Common Green Darner

Family: Gomphidae,” the Clubtails”

Arigomphus cornutus  •  Horned Clubtail

Gomphus externus  •  Plains Clubtail

Gomphus fraternus fraternus  •  Midland Clubtail

Gomphus fraternus manitobanus  •  Midland Clubtail

Gomphus vastus  •  Cobra Clubtail

Stylurus amnicola  •  Riverine Clubtail

Family: Corduliidae, “The Emeralds and the Baskettails”

Dorocordulia libera  •  Racket-tailed Emerald

Epitheca cynosura  •  Common Baskettail

Epitheca princeps  •  Prince Baskettail

Family: Libellulidae, “The Skimmers and the Meadowhawks”

Erythemis simplicicollis  •  Eastern Pondhawk

Leucorrhinia intacta  •  Dot-tailed Whiteface

Libellula luctuosa  •  Widow Skimmer

Libellula pulchella  •  Twelve-spotted Skimmer

Libellula quadrimaculata  •  Four-spotted Skimmer

Pachydiplax longipennis  •  Blue Dasher

Pantala flavescens  •  Wandering Glider

Perithemis tenera  •  Eastern Amberwing

Plathemis lydia  •  Common Whitetail

Sympetrum corruptum  •  Variegated Meadowhawk

Sympetrum costiferum  •  Saffron-winged Meadowhawk

Sympetrum internum  •  Cherry-faced Meadowhawk

Sympetrum obtrusum  •  White-faced Meadowhawk

Sympetrum rubicundulum  •  Ruby Meadowhawk

Sympetrum vicinum  •  Autumn Meadowhawk