Blue Dasher (Pachydiplax longipennis)

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This page last updated on 05/28/2017
(Fig. 01)
Picture Notes: the dragonflies shown here were taken at the Las Vegas Springs Preserve and the Corn Creek Station inside the Desert National Wildlife Refuge.

Description: The blue dasher (Pachydiplax longipennis) is a dragonfly of the skimmer family. It is very common and widely distributed through North America. The males are easy to recognize with their vibrant blue color, yellow-striped thorax, and metallic green eyes. Females are somewhat less colorful than the male, an example of sexual dimorphism. While they have a matching yellow-striped thorax, their abdomen has a distinct brown and yellow striping that sets them apart from the male, along with contrasting red eyes. Both sexes develop a frosted color with age. Blue dashers live near still, calm bodies of water, such as ponds, marshes, slow-moving waterways, and ditches, in warm areas typically at low elevations. The adults roost in trees at night.
These dragonflies, like others of their infraorder, are carnivorous, and are capable of eating hundreds of insects every day, including mosquito and mayfly larvae. The adult dragonfly will eat nearly any flying insect, such as a moth or fly. Nymphs have a diet that includes other aquatic larvae, small fish, and tadpoles. These dragonflies are known to be voracious predators, consuming up to 10% of their body weight each day in food. The blue dasher hunts by keeping still and waiting for suitable prey to come within range. When it does, they dart from their position to catch it.
(Fig. 02)
(Fig. 03)
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