Rare Dragonfly ID’d By Dave

Gray Petal Tail photographed by Jeff Zablow at Davis Memorial State Prairie Reserve, Ohio

Our group was searching for orchids and other rare plants. I was more than Happy to be with them, Dave, Angela, Barbara Ann (A”H), Joe and one or two others. We went to Davis Memorial State Prairie Reserve in Ohio, and it did not disappoint, with its many unusual and uncommon and just rare plants and animals.

As we moved on the trail, an especially large, near giant dragonfly flew by and landed on the tree you see here. Dave would not let this one go unnoticed. He ID’d it as a rare, very ancient species of dragonfly, known as the Gray Petaltail (Tachopteryx thoreyi). It’s a huge northeastern dragonfly that was unique in many ways.

It’s unusual in that it’s the only northeastern dragonfly whose larvae is not aquatic. it’s larvae develop in wet, mossy seeps. When developers build on wild land, they destroy seeps, and reduce the presence of this fascinating dragonfly.

A Big dragonfly that is believed to have not changed since the time of the dinosaurs. When you set out to find butterflies, you also find so, so much more.