Dragonfly in the sun

Calico Pennant dragonfly from below.

Calico Pennant underwing view

I was walking up to get the mail earlier this year when I saw this Calico Pennant (Celithemis elisa). This species is easy to recognize because of the characteristic pattern in the wings…a large red and orange spot in the base of the hindwing, 10 dark spots, and bright red stigmas. This group of dragonflies characteristically perch on the tip of a grass stem and wave in the breeze like a pennant. This one is the Calico Pennant because its wing pattern represents printed fabric or calico. The word calico is a derivation of “Calicut”, the former name of a seaport in SW India where a characteristic type of printed cotton was produced. This one is a female or immature male, because the triangular markings on top of its abdomen (see photograph below) would be bright red were this a mature male.

Calico Pennant dragonfly

A Calico Pennant in the sunshine.

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