Saturday, July 17, 2010

Calico Pennant (Celithemis elisa)

At 30 mm in length this dragonfly is smaller than the Halloween Pennant. The Calico Pennant seems to be less common in this area than the Halloween Pennant. In the past I've found Calico Pennant remains on a couple of occasions but this is my first encounter with a live one. Note the distinctly red face ...

... and the large patch at the base of the hindwing. The remaining markings on the wings are spots (compare these to the bands on the wings of the Halloween Pennant).

The bold red triangles on the abdomen and red sides of the thorax indicate this is a male.

Almost one year later ... I stumbled across the Calico Pennant's breeding site. A small sand-and-stone bottomed creek bordered with dense vegetation runs near the intersection of Alexander Street and the Eastern Ontario Trail. And surprise! three females were foraging in the tall grass and wildflowers. So this dragonfly isn't uncommon after all, it's just a matter of being in the right place at the right time ...

Another local Calico Pennant habitat: several males and a female were encountered at a marsh on the Upper Flinton Road, abouyt 150 m east of Moores Road.