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A New Vermont Dragonfly
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SALUTE THE FLAG. That dragonfly above is now a bit of Vermont natural history — the first Banded Pennant (Celethemis fasciata) ever documented in the state. The perceptive naturalist Laura Gaudette found and photographed him while kayaking on Sadawga Lake in Whitingham yesterday. Congrats to Laura!
The “pennants” are among the few dragonflies whose wings are marked a bit like butterfies. And they perch according to their name – like flags at the tip of twigs or stems. They even sway and pivot in the summer breezes.
Banded Pennant’s range is the south-central US into southern New England. (That’s a range map for the species from Odonata Central before Laura’s discovery.) So her find represents a northern extention of this dragonfly in the region. Global warming? Perhaps. We’ll see if there’s a breeding population at the site.
I’ve included below my own photo of Banded Pennant from southern Connecticut, along with the two other pennant species here in Vermont – Halloween Pennant (Celithemis eponina) and the elegant Calico Pennant (Celithemis elisa).
Addendum (August 4): Some folks who think they themselves have been seeing Banded Pennant are most likely seeing a similar species that’s quite common in Vermont, Twelve-spotted Skimmer, which itself looks a lot like the Common Whitetail. I’ve included a photo at the bottom of this post to help clarify the matter.