The identification of Dragonflies and Damselflies is made easier by use of the web site for
dragonflies and damselflies at
Then, click on the Checklists tab, then choose your location, starting with the region of the world,
and all the way to your county.
For El Paso county, Colorado, there are 43 distinct species listed and you can browse through the
photos. The 36th species was due to my submission of a photo of the Great Spreadwing,
confirmed on 19 March 2011. The 37th was my photo of the Spotted Spreadwing.
Another excellent web page for Dragonflies and Damselflies in the Southwest part of the U.S., including Colorado, is at southwestdragonflies.net/.
|A Dragonfly, found on 13 August 2009 at the Fountain Creek Nature Center.
This is a Pale Snaketail, Ophiogomphus severus.
|This Dragonfly is a Blue-eyed Darner. It is a common dragonfly in the Western United States.
This one was photographed at the Fountain Creek Nature Center, on 4 July 2010.
|This Twelve-spotted Skimmer dragonfly was photographed by Alyssa Erickson in
July 2010. It is an adult male, due to the presence of the white spots between the dark
spots on the wings. It is common throughout Southern Canada and all 48 contiguous United States.
|A Variegated Meadowhawk dragonfly, found at the Bear Creek Nature center on 1 September 2010.
|This dragonfly was found at the Fountain Creek Nature Center on 4 September 2010. This one is also a Variegated Meadowhawk, but according to the experts, it is an old female that is showing her age. A little smaller than most, and the tail is a little thicker than most.|
|An Eastern Pondhawk, found at the Fountain Creek Nature
Center on 14 August 2011.
Family Coenagrionoidea -- Narrow winged damselflies
According to Wikipedia, The Coenagrionidae enjoy a world-wide distribution,
and are among the most common of damselfly families. There are about 40 Genera
in this family.
A Damselfly, picture taken at Pueblo lake in 2007 by Alyssa Erickson.
The damselfly is not the same thing as a dragonfly. There are 39 different
species within the genus Enallagma (Bluet), and this one is a Familiar Bluet.
Order: Odonata (Dragonflies and Damselflies)
Specific name: civile
This one is another Familiar Bluet, found at the Fountain Creek Nature Center
on 22 August 2009. It appears to be identical to the one in the photo above.
Another Familiar Bluet, this one at Skaguay lake in Teller
County, Colorado on 21 June 2011.
Another one, also at Skaguay lake in Teller
County, Colorado on 14 June 2012.
Another Familiar Bluet, this one at
Eleven Mile reservoir in Park county, Colorado on 5 July 2011.
Family Lestidae - Spreadwing damselflies.
According to Wikipedia, Lestidae is a rather small family of cosmopolitan,
large-sized, slender damselflies.
They are of the order of the dragonflies (Odonata) and are commonly known
While most damselflies rest with their wings folded together,
most members of the family Lestidae hold them at an angle away from their bodies.
The pterostigma (a single dark spot in the meshwork of the leading edge
near the tip of each wing) is noticeably elongated.
The quadrilateral (a part of the wing venation, close to the body)
has an acute angle at the end. The body has a greenish metallic shine.
The superior anal appendages, commonly called claspers
(body parts of male insect for clasping the female during copulation)
of male spreadwings are long and strongly curved.
Another Damselfly, this one a female Great Spreadwing, Archilestes grandis.
She is resting on one of our Gladiola plants.
The identification was provided by the experts at
The picture was taken on 13 September 2008 in Colorado Springs, CO.
Family: Lestidae (Spreadwings)
Another female Great Spreadwing, Archilestes grandis.
She is resting on the antenna of my car. This one was on 5 September 2011.
This Damselfly hitched a ride with me in my car on 20 September 2009 in Colorado Springs.
It is a Spotted Spreadwing - Lestes congener. It is a male.
Family: Lestidae (Spreadwings)
This male Damselfly was found at the Fountain Creek Nature Center on 15 October 2010.
It appears to be a Spotted Spreadwing like the one above.
Family Calopterygidae, Broad-winged damselflies
This one is an American Rubyspot, Hetaerina americana, found at the Fountain Creek
Nature Center on 16 July 2010.
Some of these were flying around the shore at
Skaguay Reservior, Teller county, Colorado on
14 June 2011. The way they lay their wings back when resting makes me think they
are Damselflies. No identification has been made yet.
This might be a Damselfly nymph, but I thought that it should be swimming, and
not crawling around on the sand around Skaguay Reservoir, Teller Co., CO on 14 June 2012.
It was about 1 " long. There are lots of Familiar Bluet damselflies there.
No identification has been made yet.