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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!


Range of Banded Pennant (until its discovery in Vermont yesterday).

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.

Banded Pennant (Celithemis fasciata) / © Bryan Pfeiffer

Banded Pennant (Celithemis fasciata) / © Bryan Pfeiffer

Halloween Pennant (Celithemis eponina) / © Bryan Pfeiffer

Halloween Pennant (Celithemis eponina) / © Bryan Pfeiffer

Calico Pennant (Celithemis elisa) / © Bryan Pfeiffer

Calico Pennant (Celithemis elisa) / © Bryan Pfeiffer



  1. Donna Selan says:

    I live in the NEK of VT and have so many of these every year! I think my daughter took a pic of around 30 on the side of the deck side by side. I didn’t know it was an unusual thing lol

  2. Charlotte Hewson says:

    Bryan – I have a photo I took last week at the Botanical Gardens in Boothbay, Maine, and I am sure it is is the same dragonfly. How do I send the photo to you to identify? Charlie Hewson

  3. Dudley Carlson says:

    Gorgeous photos, all four! Bravo.

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