A Guide to the Adult Damselflies & Dragonflies of the Ottawa District

List of Species and their Preferred Habitats

There are many words used in English to describe bodies of water. The meanings of many overlap considerably in common usage. I use the following definitions in this guide, which concentrate on the features important to dragonflies:

Species noted as southern(S) can be expected only in the warmer portions of the district, northern(N) only in cold bogs. Species that are exceptionally local(L) in distribution or rare(R) here are noted as well. Excepting these species, habitats mentioned are those in which the species is most likely to be found here, and are not to be treated as the only places to look. Species in brackets are known only from close to the district, not from within it.
Calopteryx maculatasmall forest streams
Calopteryx aequabilelarger wooded streams
LLestes eurinussmall lakes, ponds
Lestes congenertemporary/permanent ponds
SLestes inaequalismarshy ponds, slow streams
Lestes unguiculatustemporary ponds, overwinter as eggs
Lestes vigilaxmarsh/bog-margined lakes
SLestes rectangularispartly shaded ponds
Lestes dryastemporary/permanent ponds
Lestes forcipatustemporary/permanent ponds, weedy streams
Lestes disjunctusponds, weedy streams
LAmphiagrion sauciumsmall, spring-fed bogs at hill bases
Chromagrion conditumshady spring-fed brooks, pools
Nehalinnia irenestill marshes, bogs
LNehalinnia gracilissphagnum bogs
Argia moestarocky shores or streams, lakes
Argia fumipennissmall shallow rocky streams
Ischnura verticalisany still water
Ischnura positashaded spring-fed streams, ponds
Coenagrion resolutumstill shaded water
(RLCoenagrion interrogatumquaking bogs)
Enallagma ebriumlimestone marshy ponds, streams
NEnallagma borealecold bogs
Enallagma hageniacid marshy/boggy ponds
NEnallagma cyathigerumvery cold bogs
Enallagma carunculatumlakes, rivers
SEnallagma civileponds, slow streams
SEnallagma geminatumsmall lakes, slow streams
Enallagma exsulansstreams, lake shores
REnallagma antennatumclayey quiet streams, small lakes
SEnallagma vesperummarsh-bordered lakes, slow streams
Enallagma signatumslow streams, quiet bays
Anax juniusmigratory, still water with emergent vegetation, esp.sand pits
Basiaeschna janatasmall woodland streams with gentle current and their outlets
RNasiaeschna pentacanthaslow woodland streams, small lakes
SEpiaeschna herosshady ponds at wood edges
Boyeria grafianafly until well after dusk, rock- margined lakes and streams
Boyeria vinosafly until well after dusk, shady streams with gentle rapids
Aeshna umbrosashady wooded ditches and streams
Aeshna constrictaopen marshes and ponds with emergent vegetation
(NAeshna sitchensispuddles in almost filled cold bogs)
Aeshna interruptashallow marshy or boggy lakes
SAeshna clepsydrashallow marsh-bordered lakes
Aeshna eremitamarsh-bordered lakes, sand pit ponds
(NAeshna subarcticapuddles in cold sphagnum bogs)
(NAeshna junceapeaty puddles and ditches, shallow lakes)
Aeshna tuberculiferaponds, especially in bogs
Aeshna canadensisstill marshes on lake edges, slow streams
LSAeshna verticalisspring ponds, marsh-bordered lakes
Hagenius brevistylusslow rocky forest streams and their outlets
NStylogomphus albistylussmall rapid gravel streams
Dromogomphus spinosusrapid streams, rivers, lakes
NOphiogomphus colubrinusrapid gravel streams
LOphiogomphus anomaluswide rivers, rapid streams
Ophiogomphus rupinsulensisstreams and rivers
Ophiogomphus aspersuscold clear rapid streams
RNOphiogomphus mainensisclear running streams
RGomphus lividussheltered inlets on wavy lakes, gentle streams
Gomphus exilisquiet soft-bottomed streams and lake borders
Gomphus spicatusstill marshy waters
SArigomphus furcifermarshy ponds and lakes
SLArigomphus cornutussmall marshy lakes
LGomphus descriptusrapid streams with pools
RGomphus borealislakes, slow streams, sand pit ponds
Gomphus fraternusturbulent water, calcareous
RGomphus ventricosusrivers
Gomphus vastuslarge rivers, lakes
Gomphus adelphusclear running streams, exposed lake shores
RStylurus amnicolarapid streams, wide rivers
NStylurus scuddericold gravelly forest streams and rivers with rapids
Stylurus notatuswide rivers
LStylurus spinicepswide rivers
LCordulegaster obliquatiny shaded rapid streams in deciduous woods
Cordulegaster diastatopsstreams with rapids in spring, pools in clearings
Cordulegaster maculatarapid streams in forests
Didymops transversaslow forest streams, wavy lakes
Macromia illinoiensisfast streams, exposed wavy lakes and wide rivers
LNannothemis bellapuddles and ponds in floating sphagnum bogs
(SPachydiplax longipennislakes, ponds, slow streams)
RSPantala hymeneasmall standing water esp.sand pits
SPantala flavescenssmall standing water esp.sand pits, migrant
Erythemis simplicicollisclear ponds, lake borders
SCelithemis eponinaponds, lakes and slow streams
LSCelithemis elisamarshy lakes and ponds
Libellula luctuosaponds, small lakes and marshes
Libellula juliabog ponds to swampy lakes
Libellula lydiapuddles to ponds
Libellula pulchellasunny ponds, lake borders, calcareous
Libellula quadrimaculatastill water
Libellula incestaponds, slow streams
Leucorrhinia glacialisbog lakes and marshes
(NLeucorrhinia patriciapuddles in peat bogs)
Leucorrhinia hudsonicapuddles in cold marshes and bogs
NLeucorrhinia frigidafloating bog lakes, marshy ponds
Leucorrhinia proximastill marshes
Leucorrhinia intactaslow streams, marshy bays, farm ponds
Sympetrum internumslow shady streams, ponds
RSympetrum rubicundulumstill water
Sympetrum obtrusumtiny, even temporary, ponds in wet meadows and gravel pits
RSympetrum semicinctumspring-fed ponds, marshes
Sympetrum danaepeaty marshes, bog ponds
Sympetrum vicinumslow streams, permanent ponds
Sympetrum costiferumsand or gravel pit ponds
Neurocordulia yamaskanensis  wave-washed rocky shores of rivers and lakes, rapids, flies only briefly after dusk
RNWilliamsonia fletcheripuddles in sphagnum bogs
Epicordulia princepsquiet small lakes, rivers
Helocordulia uhleriedges of rapid streams and their outlets
Dorocordulia liberabog ponds, sluggish marshy streams
Cordulia shurtleffiquiet marshes, boggy ponds
Tetragoneuria spinigeramarshy non-stagnant borders of lakes and streams
Tetragoneuria canisacid ponds and streams
Tetragoneuria cynosuramarsh-bordered lakes and slow streams
Somatochlora tenebrosatiny shaded deciduous forest streams
(NSomatochlora cingulatalakes)
NSomatochlora albicinctaboggy places with slight water movement
NSomatochlora franklinipuddles in spring-fed bogs
Somatochlora minorclear slow forest streams
Somatochlora walshismall ditches in bogs
Somatochlora forcipatatiny boggy spring-fed streams, puddles in bogs
(NSomatochlora elongataforest streams with rapids and their outlets)
Somatochlora williamsoniquiet shady forest streams and their outlets
NSomatochlora kennedyicold bog ponds and puddles
(NSomatochlora incurvatasphagnum ponds and puddles)

my favourite spot for early dragonflies:
an airy path through deep woods with patches of shade and sun, next to a marshy ditch.

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