Eastern Pondhawk

Erythemis simplicicollis

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Photo of an Eastern Pondhawk dragonfly, female
The eastern pondhawk, Erythemis simplicicollis, is in the large family of dragonflies called skimmers. Females and young males are green with black abdomen spots. The ovipositor (egg-laying organ) on this female is visible below the tip of her abdomen.
Donna Brunet
Other Common Name
Green Jacket; Common Pondhawk
Family

Libellulidae (skimmers) in the order Odonata (dragonflies and damselflies)

Description

The eastern pondhawk is a common and well-known large dragonfly of ponds and other standing water. It is in the large family of dragonflies called skimmers. Females and young males are green with squarish black abdomen spots. Older males have a blue abdomen and green face and thorax. This species is one of the first to be seen in spring and last to be seen in fall. Ponds or other standing water is the preferred habitat. Sparring males engage in fascinating aerial maneuvers.

Learn more about the eastern pondhawk and other dragonflies (suborder Anisoptera) in their group entry.

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Photo of an Eastern Pondhawk dragonfly, male
Eastern Pondhawk, Male
The eastern pondhawk, Erythemis simplicicollis, is in the large family of dragonflies called skimmers. Older males have a blue abdomen and green face. Sparring males engage in fascinating aerial maneuvers.

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Eastern pondhawk female perched on a leaf, viewed from side
Eastern Pondhawk Female
In old-time Ozark dialect, large dragonflies such as the eastern pondhawk were called "katynippers" and "snake feeders."

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Two green dragonflies with blue abdomens intertwine on a twig
Eastern Pondhawk dragonfly near Broseley, MO