The last time I passed through Montana, I stopped by some duck ponds in Anaconda at a place called Warm Springs State Wildlife Management Area and there were dragonflies and damselflies everywhere! I was familiar with some of the species, but this one olive-golden species was very difficult for me to identify until I was back home and had a chance to look it up in my fiend guides: the saffron-winged meadowhawk – in this case, it was a female! The male (who I didn’t get on camera that day) is very red to rich crimson color, and one I plan to get on camera the next time I pass through the northern states!
(click image to enlarge)
Female Saffron-winged Meadowhawk
This golden beauty is the saffron-winged meadowhawk (Sympetrum costiferum). Found coast to coast across all of the central and northern United States, as well as southern Canada. Females and immatures have this soft golden color and males and some females will develop a rich burgundy color, while retaining the soft yellow hue at the forward edge of their wings. This one was found at a pond absolutely teeming with dragonflies and damselflies in rural Montana near the town of Anaconda on a hot sunny mid-July afternoon.
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