Common Whitetail Plathemis lydia (Drury, 1770)

Status:

Common Whitetail (Plathemis lydia) is one of the most common and adaptable North American dragonflies, found at nearly any decent-sized standing or slow-flowing body of water with a muddy substrate. The distinctively patterned males are unmistakable. This species is very tolerant of degraded habitat, and is often seen at drying ponds or shallow puddles without other odonate species present. This dragonfly habitually and conspicuously perches on the ground or plants, or on flat surfaces like rocks or tree trunks, and flies up to hawk flying prey (Paulson, 2011). This is an abundant species in Maryland, found in every county (Richard Orr's The Dragonflies and Damselflies of Maryland and the District of Columbia).

There are 2,058 records in the project database.

GA AL WA FR CL MO HO BA BC HA CE PG AA CV CH SM KE QA CN TA DO WI SO WO 
A male Common Whitetail in Wicomico Co., Maryland (6/4/2014). Photo by Frode Jacobsen. (MBP list)

A male Common Whitetail found in Worcester Co., Maryland (5/15/2007). Photo by Jim Brighton. (MBP list)

A male Common Whitetail along the Potomac River in Prince George's Co., Maryland (6/29/2008). One of our most common and easily recognizable dragonflies. Unlike many dragonflies, it usually perches on flat surfaces such as trails and piers. Photo by Bill Hubick. (MBP list) ( More of this species)

A male Common Whitetail in Garrett Co., Maryland (6/30/2006). Photo by Jim Stasz. (MBP list)

A male Common Whitetail in Baltimore Co., Maryland (7/18/2014). Photo by Frode Jacobsen. (MBP list)

A Common Whitetail in Montgomery Co., Maryland (4/16/2017). Photo by Ashley Bradford. (MBP list)

A female Common Whitetail in Baltimore Co., Maryland (7/7/2014). Photo by Emily Stanley. (MBP list)

A female Common Whitetail in Harford Co., Maryland (8/20/2012). Photo by Mark Johnson. (MBP list)

A female Common Whitetail in Baltimore City, Maryland (7/1/2006). Photo by Thomas Wilson. (MBP list)

A female Common Whitetail at the Jemicy Upper School in Baltimore Co., Maryland (7/30/2015). Photo by Emily Stanley. (MBP list)

A female Common Whitetail in Worcester Co., Maryland (8/30/2013). Photo by Scott Housten. (MBP list)

A female Common Whitetail in Baltimore Co., Maryland (7/18/2014). Photo by Frode Jacobsen. (MBP list)

A female Common Whitetail in Anne Arundel Co., Maryland (6/11/2013). Photo by Benjamin DeHaven. (MBP list)

A female Common Whitetail in Prince George's Co., Maryland (2/20/2017). Photo by Barbara Thurlow. (MBP list)

A male Common Whitetail in Howard Co., Maryland (5/9/2015). Photo by Bonnie Ott. (MBP list)

A female Common Whitetail in Howard Co., Maryland (5/9/2015). Photo by Bonnie Ott. (MBP list)

A female Common Whitetail in Baltimore City, Maryland (7/17/2014). Photo by Mike Hudson. (MBP list)

A Common Whitetail in Baltimore Co., Maryland (5/4/2015). Verified by John S. Ascher/BugGuide. Photo by Emily Stanley. (MBP list)

A Common Whitetail ovipositing in Anne Arundel Co., Maryland (6/6/2015). Photo by Bonnie Ott. (MBP list)

A female Common Whitetail in Baltimore Co., Maryland (6/7/2016). Photo by Pauline Horn. (MBP list)

A Common Whitetail in St. Mary's Co., Maryland (6/28/2016). Photo by Tyler Bell. (MBP list)


View All Images

View Bibliography

Use of images featured on Maryland Biodiversity Project is only permitted with express permission of the photographer.