Skip Navigation LinksOdes For Beginners : Identifying Odonates : ID 101 : Dragonfly ID : Color

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Dragonfly Color

What color is your dragon?  More important, what is the pattern of the color - see the other pages of this section for more on patterns.

These beautiful rose-colored skimmers are actually two different species, Roseate Skimmer on the left and Carmine Skimmer on the right

While the color of your dragonfly is important, it may not be as significant as you think. Certainly a bright red or orange color will narrow down your choices, but many variations occur.

  • Many species change color as they mature, or may vary as the temperature changes. 
  • Females may be differently colored from males.
  • All dragonflies emerge with barely any color, although hints of the adult pattern may be visible.
  • Many young males are colored much the same as females at first.
  • Some species become pruinose, with a blue or whitish powdery bloom that may cover parts of the body, obscuring the background pattern and color.
  • Additionally, as some species age, they may darken overall, further obscuring the diagnostic markings.
  • The temperature can alter the color of your insect, darkening it in cooler weather.  Blue spots and stripes can fade to purple or gray and green may in fact look almost blue on a cool autumn morning.

These odes, often called Blue Clearwing and Green Clearwing in older literature, are actually the male and female of the Eastern Pondhawk

We have included some information on typical color patterns in our Family Guide pages.

© 2020 Sheryl Chacon Search