There are about 5,500 species of Dragonflies and Damselflies. We’ll never be able to identify even a fraction of them and we wonder why such a large number has survived evolution.

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Nonetheless, we try to learn as we see and we’ve been seeing Common Green Darner Dragonflies (Anax junius), such as the one above. It’s about three inches long and gets its name from its resemblance to a darning needle.

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We're also seeing Calico Pennant Dragonflies (Celithemis elisa), such as the male above that is about an inch long. He gets his first name from his brown, black, and light wing pattern (picture a Calico Cat) and its second name because it’s one of several types of “Pennant” Dragonflies – those that perch on top of vegetation where they wave like colorful pennants.

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For some reason that is not apparent, many of the smaller water-skimming cousins of the Pennants are called “Dragonlet” Dragonflies. These include the Seaside Dragonlet (Erythrodiplax berrnice) shown above. (Brooklin, Maine)