According to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, our state has 164 species of dragonflies and damselflies. Although I can’t document them all here, this is a scrapbook of the dragonflies that I have encountered while hiking in Ohio. I plan on updating this page whenever I photograph new species. At a later time I will publish a page dedicated exclusively to damselflies.

It’s often the case that the male and female specimens of the same species look different. If I can, I’ll include a photo of both.

Below are shortcut links to specific species listed on this page. Feedback and/or corrections are welcome.

Allegheny River Cruiser | Banded Pennant | Blue Dasher | Calico Pennant | Common Whitetail | Eastern Amberwing | Eastern Pondhawk | Gray Petaltail | Halloween Pennant | Lancet Clubtail | Slaty Skimmer | Spangled Skimmer | Tiger Spiketail | Widow Skimmer

Allegheny River Cruiser
Allegheny River Cruiser (Macromia alleghaniensis)
Banded Pennant
Banded Pennant (Celithemis fasciata), female
Blue Dasher
Blue dasher dragonfly (Pachydiplax longipennis)
Blue dasher dragonfly (Pachydiplax longipennis) in “obelisk” pose.
Calico Pennant
Calico pennant dragonfly (Celithemis elisa)
Common Whitetail
Common Whitetail dragonfly (Plathemis lydia), male
Common Whitetail dragonfly (Plathemis lydia)
Common Whitetail dragonfly (Plathemis lydia), immature male; the tail markings resemble that of the female while the wing markings are like that of the male.
Common Whitetail dragonfly (Plathemis lydia), female
Eastern Amberwing
Eastern amberwing dragonfly (Perithemis tenera)
Eastern Pondhawk
Eastern Pondhawk dragonfly (Erythemis simplicicollis), male
Eastern pondhawk dragonfly (Erythemis simplicicollis), male
Eastern Pondhawk dragonfly (Erythemis simplicicollis), female
Gray Petaltail
Gray petaltail (Tachopteryx thoreyi)
Halloween pennant
Halloween pennant dragonfly
Lancet Clubtail
Lancet clubtail dragonfly (Gomphus exilis)
Slaty Skimmer
Slaty Skimmer dragonfly (Libellula incesta)
Spangled Skimmer
Spangled Skimmer dragonfly (Libellula cyanea); note the white markings on the wings.
Tiger Spiketail
Tiger Spiketail (Cordulegaster erronea)
Widow Skimmer
Widow Skimmer dragonfly (Libellula luctuosa), mature male
Widow skimmer dragonfly (Libellula luctuosa), immature male

Updated: October 5, 2017

© Deborah Platt, Robert Platt and TrekOhio.com 2012 to 2021

9 thoughts on “Dragonflies

  1. FINALLY I was able to make a positive ID of a dragonfly that I photographed close up. Stokes was very helpful but not until I found this site was I able to figure out that the “mystery d.fly” seems to be Common Whitetail IMMATURE MALE !!!!! This one was real tricky. Thank you for your fine work !

  2. Thanks for helping me identify many butterflies I’ve photographed. If you want photos of other butterflies I’ve seen in Ohio, let me know.

  3. I think your photo of the female Libellula luctuosa is an immature male. It shows faint white patches outside the dark areas in the wings and lacks the dark wingtips that are present in immature females.

    1. Becky, thanks! One trick that we’ve learned about photographing dragonflies is that they are very territorial. I’ve often seen one perched on a twig or grass, and then watched it fly away before I can get my camera focused on it. However if I go ahead and focus my camera on the now-vacant twig, I’m often rewarded by that very same dragonfly coming back shortly and perching on it once again. Since my camera is already focused, all I have to do is click the shutter button, and I can get a photo of it before it flies away again.

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