Early June Dragonflies - 2011

Photos by Glenn Corbiere

 

These were taken along the Westfield River, and the Connecticut River, in Western Massachusetts during the first couple weeks in June. It's heavy on the Gomphids, since that's what I'm mostly looking for at this time of year. Most of these gomphids still have immature coloring.

Didymops transversa (Stream Cruiser), female

The Stream Cruiser (Didymops transversa), is a fairly common species along the Westfield River corridor, but for some reason photographing a female has eluded me, until this year. About time. This was taken in Chester, Hampden County, MA, near the Middle Branch of the Westfield River, on 6/1

 

 

 

Gomphus borealis (Beaverpond Clubtail), female


I wasn't close to any habitat that I would normally associate with Beaverpond Clubtails, and I had never seen them in this particular area of the Middle Branch of the Westfield River, so I was surprised to find a half dozen or so, both males and females. I photographed this female
in Chester, Hampden County, MA on 6/8.

 

 

 

Gomphus borealis (Beaverpond Clubtail), male

And here is a male Gomphus borealis from the same area. There were some slower and muddy sections of the river about a quarter of a mile away. Perhaps they may inhabit these slower sections of the Westfield River, but if so, why hadn't I seen them there in other years? Who knows, it will have to remain a mystery for now. This photo was taken along the Middle Branch of the Westfield River in Chester, Hampden County, MA on 5/31

 

 

 

I suppose the Phanogomphids are the least flashy of the clubtails, but you can't deny that they have a subtle beauty about them, as illustrated by this male Lancet Clubtail (Gomphus exilis). Beautfiul if you're a dragonfly nut, that is. Within a hundred yards of this spot I have photographed four different species of Phanogomphids. In addtion to the Beaverpond Clubtails and this Lancet Clubtail, there were Dusky Clubtails (Gomphus spicatus) as well as a Harpoon Clubtails (Gomphus descriptus. This photo was taken along the Middle Branch of the Westfield River in Chester, Hampden County, MA on 6/7.

 

 

 

Gomphus spicatus (Dusky Clubtail), female

This immature colored female is Gomphus spicatus (Dusky Clubtail). I don't think I've managed to find a mature female of this species so far. By the way, all of the gomphid females on this page were netted subsequent to taking these photos. The indentities were confirmed by closeup, in hand photos of the appropriate female parts, and then they were released. This was taken along the Middle Branch of the Westfield River on 6/7.

 

 

 

Gomphus quadricolor (Rapids Clubtail), male

The Rapids Clubtail (Gomphus quadricolor), is the most colorful of the Phanogomphid group. I took this photo on a wider section of the Main Stem of the Westfield River, forested except for the road corridor adjacent to the river. At the river, I have seldom seen a female of this species. I have not been able to locate any upland hunting areas, as of yet. I took this photo in Russell, Hampden County, MA on 6/8.

 

 

 

Gomphus adelphus (Mustached Clubtail), male

The Hylogomphid group is represented by only two species (so far) in Massachusetts. The Mustached Clubtail (Gomphus adelphus), shown here, is by far the more common of the group. (The other being Gomphus abbreviatus, the Spine-crowned Clubtail). Sometimes Mustached clubtails have yellow lateral areas on abominal segments S8 and S9, and sometimes these segements are all black. I took this photo along the Middle Branch of the Westfield River in Chester, Hampden County, MA on 5/31.

 

 

 

Rhionaeschna mutata (Spatterdock Darner), male


It's difficult to resist photographing Spatterdock Darners (Rhionaeschna mutata) when you find them, so why even try? This species likes field / woodland edges, where it will often alight and rest, and perhaps get a little respite from the sun. This male was photographed along the Middle Branch of the Westfield River in Chester, Hampden County, MA. on 6/8.

 

 

 

Ophiogomphus mainensis (Maine Snaketail), female

This female Ophiogomphus mainensis doesn't yet have the vivid lime green coloring of a mature individual, but she did choose a great location for a photo, to perch. As best I can recall, this is the first Ophiogomphid I'vd photographed this year. I took this photo along the Middle Branch of the Westfield River in Chester, Hampden County, MA on 5/31.

 

 

 

Arigomphus furcifer (Lilypad Clubtail), male

Lilypad Clubtails are not supposed to be perched in the middle of swiftly flowing rocky and riffly rivers. Don't tell this guy. It's always fun finding creatures where you're not expecting them! I took this photo in the Middle Branch of the Westfield River in Chester, Hampden County, MA on 6/9.

 

 

 

Arigomphus furcifer (female)

It took me 11 seasons to find and photograph a female Arigomphus Clubtail. This is also Arigomphus furcifer. I ended up finding three female Lilypad Clubtails, and five total in two days along a fairly wild section of river. I took this photo along the Middle Branch of the Westfield River in Chester, Hamden County, MA, on 6/8. Now if only I can find a female Arigomphus villosipes.

 

 

 

Gomphus vastus (Cobra Clubtail), female

Cobra Clubtails (Gomphus vastus), is anonther species that has eluded me for a long time, even though it is fairly common along the Connecticut River in Massachusetts. The problem is, this is a difficult river to access by land. I finally found about a half dozen immature females, most of the time they were choosing at least partial shade to land on this warm day. I took this photo in Montague, Franklin County, MA on 6/16. As I was working on this web page, I got to thinking how similar female Cobras are to male Riverine Clubtails (Stylurus amnicola).

 

 

 

Stylurus amnicola (Riverine Clubtail), male


See what I mean? I photographed this male Riverine Clubtail (Stylurus amnicola) near the Connecticut River in Hadley, Hampden County, MA on 7/8/2007.

 

 

 

 

Gomphus ventricosus (Skillet Clubtail), female

I'll close this photo essay with another Connecticut River specialty, the Skillet Clubtail (Gomphus ventricosus). I photographed this female in Hadley, Hampden County, MA, on 6/10.

 

 

 

All Images are Copyrighted by Glenn Corbiere, and are not to be used without permission.


 

If you're interested in the dragonflies and damselflies of Massachusetts, the fine field guide by Blair Nikula, Jennifer Ryan and Matthew Burne is a must. "A Field Guide to the Dragonflies and Damselflies of Massachusetts" is available from the Massachusetts Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program.

 

 

 

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