Sunday, June 24, 2012

Halloween Pennant: Ride The Wild Wind

June 23rd, 2012. Ride The Wild Wind. Or that’s how it probably seemed to a male Halloween Pennant (Celithemis eponina) we encountered in the Piedmont National Wildlife Refuge in Jones County, Georgia. As always we stopped by Pond 2A to look for wildflowers and dragonflies, mainly dragonflies – although we did pretty well in the wildflower department too. Widow Skimmers (Libellula luctuosa) predominated – patrolling the shore of the pond and the downhill side of the dam. But there were a few Halloween Pennants, the first we’ve seen this year.

It was hot! Probably in the 90s F. There were gusts of wind occasionally and those kept this dragonfly on its toes, so to speak.

He was ‘obelisking’ with his abdomen high in the air, trying to minimize his exposure to the heat of the sun. Then the breeze came up and…

the need to balance began. He dropped his abdomen and flexed his wings to maintain his balance.

At one point, I disturbed him and he flew to the tip of another grass stem nearby where he continued to…

balance, abdomen down and again flexing his wings in the breeze.

Then back to obelisking when the breeze dropped again. Only to have to…

drop his abdomen and begin his balancing act once again.

Most dragonflies perch with front and back wings aligned in the same plane. Pennants, on the other hand, typically perch at the top of stems with the fore- and hindwings in different planes. This always gives the impression that they are off balance.

Click on an image to view a larger image

Identification resources:

- Dragonflies and Damselflies (Odonata) of Georgia: Halloween Pennant (Celithemis eponina)

- BugGuide:
Halloween Pennant (Celithemis eponina) [Male] [Female]
- Bill Horn: Halloween Pennant Dragonfly

Related posts:

- Halloween Pennants In A Storm

- First Halloween Pennant Of The Season

- Dragonfly: Halloween Pennant

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