This showy dragonfly is about 1 3/4 inches or 45 mm in length. Mature males have sparkling wings with alternating black and white spots, and pruinose blue abdomens. Females and juveniles are marked alike with the abdomens being brown with yellow dashes on the sides forming a smooth line. The wings of the female and juveniles have the 3 black spots at the base, middle and tip of the wing, but lack the white spots. Female Common White-tails are similar, but the side-spots form a saw-toothed stripe.
This is a common dragonfly at the Great Marsh in Fontenelle Forest during mid-summer. It is very active hunting near the water and chasing other dragonflies. It returns repeatedly to the same hunting perch.
The male sometimes guards the female while she lays eggs. She prefers an area with abundant submerged vegetation.
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