Out of Place…


Halloween Pennant dragonfly, copyright 2014, Pamela Breitberg
Halloween Pennant dragonfly, copyright 2014, Pamela Breitberg

The Halloween Pennant‘s habitat ranges from Canada to Florida. The one in this image I caught (with my lens) on a Ft. Lauderdale beach yesterday afternoon. It would be fitting to see the dragonfly in Florida, yet sighting this one on the Atlantic Ocean’s beach was a surprise. Halloween Pennant dragonflies inhabit FRESH water areas: ponds, streams, rivers and marshes. They lay their eggs in fresh water. Like myself, this dragonfly was merely visiting the beach yesterday.

A source of amusement for myself is pondering the creative thinking behind the naming of species. Common names for a plant or animal are often regional and therefore one species may be referred to by several common names, and one common name may be connected to more than one species. Scientific names remain the key identifier. This dragonfly has the common name of Halloween Pennant. “Halloween” references the orange and brown colorings similar to pumpkins and fall foliage. The “pennant” portion of its name reflects its routine of resting atop tall grasses or reeds, therefore resembling a pennant flapping in the wind. Coincidentally these creatures are skilled at maneuvering in wind, unlike most insects, which was beneficial for its encounter with sea breezes yesterday while away from their preferred environment.

See also “Observations From Hunting On The Prairie” 07/20/2011 made of the same species in a Chicagoland area prairie.

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