Erythemis collacata
(Western Pondhawk)

Order: Odonata
Suborder: Anisoptera
Order Description:
Family: Libellulidae
Family Description: Pondhawk

   Naiad- This is a small naiad with a length of 5/8 to 3/4 inch (15 to 17 mm). The abdomen is rounded, giving it a short, stocky appearance known as the sprawler form. The color is a uniform green, and there are no hooks or spines on any of the abdominal segments.
   Adult- This is a medium-sized dragonfly with a length of 1 5/8 to 1 11/16 inches (40 to 42 mm). The body appears thick and somewhat stubby. Females and immature males are a uniform bright green from the face to the tip of the abdomen, while mature males are covered with a powdery slate blue (a condition called "pruinose"). The sides of the thorax may have several small patches of hazy green.

This species is found from southern British Columbia east to Alberta, extending south to southern California. In Idaho, it occurs throughout the state at lower elevations.

This dragonfly can be found near warm, marshy lakes and ponds.

Adult Flight Season:
Mid-April to early October

   Naiad- Naiads feed on a wide variety of aquatic insects, such as mosquito larvae, other aquatic fly larvae, mayfly larvae, and freshwater shrimp. They will also eat small fish and tadpoles.
   Adult- The dragonfly will eat almost any soft-bodied flying insect including mosquitoes, flies, butterflies, moths, mayflies, and flying ants or termites.

The naiads live in submerged vegetation. They do not actively pursue prey but wait for it to pass by, a strategy which affords them protection from other predators. Naiads emerge as adults at night. Adults generally fly from mid-April to early October. This species has large, powerful mandibles for its size, and often eats comparatively large insects, such as butterflies and other dragonflies. Adults hunt from perches on twigs or rocks.

After males and females mate, the female flies singly, without the male attached, to lay her eggs. She does this by dipping the tip of her abdomen in the water while hovering just above its surface.

Populations are widespread, abundant, and secure.
Status: Unprotected nongame species
Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S?

Corbet, P. S. 1999. Dragonflies: Behavior and Ecology of Odonata. Cornell University Press, Ithaca, New York, USA, 829pp.

Logan, E. R. 1967. The Odonata of Idaho. Unpublished M. S. thesis. University of Idaho, Moscow, Idaho, USA, 105 pp.

Needham, J. G. and M. J. Westfall. 1955. Dragonflies of North America. University of California Press, Berkely, California, USA, 615 pp.

Paulson, D. R. 1999. Dragonflies of Washington. Seattle Audubon Society, Seattle, Washington, USA, 32 pp.

Walker, E. M. and P. S. Corbet. 1975. The Odonata of Canada and Alaska, Vol. III. University of Toronto Press, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, 307 pp.

Written by Mark Lung and Stefan Sommer, 2001
Photos by Dennis Paulson, 2001
Design by Ean Harker, 2001.