Twin-spotted Spiketail dragonfly (male)

A Twin-spotted Spiketail dragonfly (Cordulegaster maculata) was spotted at Occoquan Regional Park in Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This individual is a male, as indicated by his terminal appendages and “indented” hind wings.

Those who know me well are familiar with one of many “Walterisms”: “I haven’t ‘seen’ something until I have photographed it.” My rationale is two-fold: 1) A photograph verifies a sighting. 2) The detail visible in a good photograph exceeds the acuity of the human eye.

Although I’m fairly certain I’ve seen a Twin-spotted Spiketail at another location, this is the first time I was fortunate to photograph the species. Twin-spotted Spiketail is relatively uncommon in Northern Virginia.

The last two photos show what might be the same male shown in the first two photos, but it might be another male. As Mike Powell and I were photographing the first male, another dragonfly swooped in and there was either a brief aerial ballet or battle, depending upon whether the second dragonfly was a female or male. I visually tracked the first dragonfly to a new perch about 10 feet away.

When I started to move toward the new perch, Mike shouted “Don’t move, don’t move!” Mike had spotted another Twin-spotted Spiketail that landed close to the place where I spotted the first one.

We didn’t have much time to shoot photos. This Twin-spotted Spiketail and another one hooked up and they flew in wheel toward the nearby treetops. The mating process for Twin-spotted Spiketails lasts about an hour, a fact that may explain why we never saw another Twin-spotted during our photowalk.

Related Resources: Digital Dragonflies, presenting high-resolution digital scans of living dragonflies.

  • Genus Cordulegaster | Cordulegaster maculata | Twin-spotted Spiketail | male | top view
  • Genus Cordulegaster | Cordulegaster maculata | Twin-spotted Spiketail | male | side view
  • Genus Cordulegaster | Cordulegaster maculata | Twin-spotted Spiketail | female | top view
  • Genus Cordulegaster | Cordulegaster maculata | Twin-spotted Spiketail | female | side view

Copyright © 2018 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

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5 Responses to “Twin-spotted Spiketail dragonfly (male)”

  1. Twin-spotted Spiketail dragonfly | Mike Powell Says:

    […] too. Several times in the past we have done companion blog postings after our adventures. Check out Walter’s blog post today for his perspective on our hunt for this elusive dragonfly and for his wonderful […]

  2. Michael Boatwright Says:

    Great captures and story. Congrats!

  3. waltersanford Says:

    See Twin-spotted Spiketail dragonfly, a companion blog post by Michael Powell that focuses more on the human side of the story.

  4. Brown Spiketail dragonfly (male) | walter sanford's photoblog Says:

    […] Showcasing some of my digital photography and videography. « Twin-spotted Spiketail dragonfly (male) […]

  5. New Life List additions in 2018 (odonates) | walter sanford's photoblog Says:

    […] 07 MAY 2018 | Occoquan Regional Park | Twin-spotted Spiketail (male) […]

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