13 Types Of Dragonflies In Texas

Dragonflies, with their dazzling colors and agile flight, are enchanting insects that grace the skies of Texas. The Lone Star State is home to a remarkable diversity of dragonfly species, each with its unique characteristics and habits. In this article, we’ll explore 12 captivating types of dragonflies found in Texas, shedding light on their behavior, habitats, and the vital role they play in the ecosystem.

13 Types Of Dragonflies In Texas

1. Common Green Darner (Anax junius):

Appearance: Recognized by their large size and bright green coloring.

Habitat: Found near ponds, lakes, and slow-moving streams.

Behavior: Migratory species that travel great distances.

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2. Eastern Pondhawk (Erythemis simplicicollis):

Appearance: The males are bright green, while females and juveniles have a more subdued coloring.

Habitat: Often seen around ponds, marshes, and slow-flowing rivers.

Behavior: Agile fliers that perch on vegetation to hunt for prey.

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4. Blue Dasher (Pachydiplax longipennis):

Appearance: The males have a striking blue coloration.

Habitat: Prefers ponds, lakes, and ditches with ample vegetation.

Behavior: Known for their swift and erratic flight patterns.

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5. Widow Skimmer (Libellula luctuosa):

Appearance: Males have a distinctive black and white color pattern.

Habitat: Often found near ponds, slow rivers, and wetlands.

Behavior: Females lay eggs in water by tapping the surface with their abdomens.

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6. Roseate Skimmer (Orthemis ferruginea):

Appearance: Named for the pinkish-red coloration of mature males.

Habitat: Typically seen near ponds, lakes, and slow streams.

Behavior: Male dragonflies are territorial and defend their chosen areas.

7. Eastern Amberwing (Perithemis tenera):

Appearance: Tiny dragonflies with amber-colored wings.

Habitat: Prefers areas with shallow, slow-moving water.

Behavior: Males are known for their distinctive hovering behavior.

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8. Twelve-spotted Skimmer (Libellula pulchella):

Appearance: Recognizable by twelve dark spots on their wings.

Habitat: Found near ponds, lakes, and slow streams.

Behavior: Agile hunters that often perch on vegetation.

9. Halloween Pennant (Celithemis eponina):

Appearance: Named for their vibrant orange and black coloration.

Habitat: Common around ponds, marshes, and slow rivers.

Behavior: Display elaborate courtship rituals.

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10. Common Whitetail (Plathemis lydia):

Appearance: Males have a distinct white abdomen.

Habitat: Found near a variety of freshwater habitats.

Behavior: Often seen patrolling territories near water.

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11. Checkered Setwing (Dythemis fugax):

Appearance: Characterized by black and white checkered patterns on their wings.

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Habitat: Prefers slow-moving streams and rivers.

Behavior: Skilled hunters with a preference for perching on rocks.

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12. Great Pondhawk (Erythemis vesiculosa):

Appearance: Males have a vibrant blue abdomen.

Habitat: Common around ponds, lakes, and slow-flowing rivers.

Behavior: Known for their rapid and agile flight.

13. Neon Skimmer (Libellula croceipennis):

Appearance: Males have a bright red abdomen.

Habitat: Typically found near ponds, lakes, and slow streams.

Behavior: Active fliers with a preference for sunny habitats.

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Most Common Dragonfly in Texas:

The most common dragonfly species in Texas is the Eastern Pondhawk (Erythemis simplicicollis). Recognizable by its vibrant green coloration in males, it is frequently found near ponds, marshes, and slow-flowing rivers throughout the state.

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Insect Mistaken for a Dragonfly:

Often mistaken for dragonflies, damselflies share a similar appearance but can be distinguished by their more delicate build and the way they hold their wings alongside their bodies, unlike dragonflies that spread their wings perpendicular to their bodies.

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Different Types of Dragonflies:

Dragonflies belong to various species, each with unique characteristics. Some notable types in Texas include the Common Green Darner, Blue Dasher, Widow Skimmer, Roseate Skimmer, and the Twelve-spotted Skimmer, among others.

Most Common Dragonfly in the US:

The Common Green Darner (Anax junius) is among the most widespread dragonflies in the United States. Known for its migratory behavior, it can be found across various habitats, including Texas.

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Number of Dragonflies in Texas:

Texas boasts a rich diversity of dragonfly species, with over 200 recorded types. This diversity is attributed to the state’s varied landscapes, including ponds, lakes, rivers, and wetlands, providing ideal habitats for these fascinating insects.

Presence of Dragonflies in Texas:

Yes, dragonflies are indeed present in Texas. The state’s diverse ecosystems and abundance of water sources make it an ideal habitat for a wide variety of dragonfly species.

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Are Dragonflies Harmful?:

Dragonflies are not harmful to humans. In fact, they are beneficial as they help control mosquito populations by feeding on them during their aquatic larval stage and their adult stage.

Do Dragonflies Bite?:

While dragonflies are equipped with strong jaws for capturing prey, they are not known to bite humans. They pose no threat to people and are generally harmless.

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What Attracts Dragonflies?:

Dragonflies are attracted to areas with abundant water sources, as they lay their eggs in or near water. They are also drawn to sunny locations with ample open spaces, providing ideal hunting grounds for these skilled aerial predators. Planting native vegetation and maintaining a healthy water ecosystem can attract dragonflies to your area.

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The dragonflies of Texas contribute not only to the state’s natural beauty but also play a crucial role in controlling insect populations. Understanding and appreciating the diverse dragonfly species in Texas can enhance our awareness of the delicate balance within ecosystems and inspire a commitment to their conservation. So, the next time you find yourself near a pond or stream in Texas, take a moment to observe these enchanting creatures as they gracefully dance through the air.

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