California's Year 2017

Dragonfly Reports



Sightings are listed in order from MOST recently to LEAST recently seen! 
Please send your sightings, with date, county and location as displayed below to Kathy Biggs and/or the CalOdes Yahoo! Dragonfly discussion group 
date (month/day/year) 
County (name of county where seen) 
your name 
place, etc. 
species common name &/or scientific name - #s & other data, comments, etc.  
species common name &/or scientific name - #s & other data, comments, etc. 
See examples below (after dates start)


Note: A Facebook Western Odonata group is a wonderful place to get help with IDs, etc. Check it out - 
Species will be posted using either the Common Name or the Scientific Name, whichever the sender uses (inc. using both), 
but all first and last sightings of the year, county records, and new flight data will be posted using both names. 
To contact the person making the sighting, email Kathy Biggs.
COUNTY RECORDS are underlined and in red text  (any new, but prior to 2016 records are listed at the bottom of the page)
           OC= Odonata Central
* = first/last sighting of species of year in CA 
** = new flight data for species in CA
# = probably a migratory event
MO = many observers (usually means a field trip full of observers)
As of the most recent date below,

13 species (out of the 114 species known to have occurred in California) have been reported to this site as flying in California in the 2017 season.

0 new California county records have been reported/discovered/upgraded this year. (this # includes upgrades of previous ‘sighting only’ & photo records)

In 2015, new county records were found by accessing specimens in museum collections or late reports. All were entered at Odonata Central by “Calif Records”.

`Sighting only' records need further documentation, but please report them so we can try to get substantiation.


County records should be substantiated with specimen (preferable) or photo and notes. [note: not all species are identifiable by photos]

Report new county records and early/late flight dates to Kathy Biggs bigsnest at & Odonata Central ( for verification

EVERYONE is encouraged to record flight data for their home &/or favorite county and to upload such files to CalOdes: &/or Odonata Central.





March 19, 2017

Inyo County

Ron & Barbara Oriti

we were surprised by what we saw at one of the canals  --  a few Common Green Darners, a few Mosaics, sp., but at least 30 #Variegated Meadowhawks.  We have never seen that many before in March.  This early it is usually just an occasional ode or two.

Ron also found some teneral damselflies.   Ode season is starting, and with all the water this year, it could turn out to be really interesting!

March 18, 2017
San Bernardino County

Doug Karalun with Matt Grube

Plunge Creek


East Highland Reservoir

Pacific Forktail

Tule Bluet

Flyby of a large darner

Badger Basin

Pacific Forktail

Black-fronted Forktail

Vivid Dancer

# Common Green Darner Anax junius

Rhionaeschna Darner

Variegated Meadowhawk

Lost Lake

Familiar Bluet

*Blue-eyed Darner Rhionaeschna multicolor

Cajon Creek 



March 17, 2017
Sonoma County
Jacki Sones
a beach in Bodega Bay
#*Pantala, 1, likely Pantala hymenaea, cruising along (arrived 2 days before a warm storm)


March 13, 2017
Sonoma County
Kathy & Dave Biggs

Hunt for SF Forktails. With an early date of 3/8/1980, and our terrific weather and their known haunt just 7 miles down the road (, I convinced Dave to take us there to hunt for them. We found 7 Forktails, all males, but the 5 who we were able to ID were

Pacific Forktails, and the other 2 appeared to be no different. Earliest day in last 2 decades is 4/1, so we'll try again around then. Also found 2 Pacific Forktails on our own pond today. But no Cardinal Meadowhawks.

March 12, 2017
Sonoma County
Dave Biggs
Our backyard pond, Sebastopol
*Cardinal Meadowhawk Sympetrum illotum – 1 teneral on maiden flight

San Diego County

Doug Aguillard

Paradise Hills. San Diego,

while covering a house fire, a

*Red Rock Skimmer Paltothemis lineatipes flew by and started flying low, up and down the street where excessive water was flowing down the street.

March 11, 2017
Sonoma County
David Hoffmann
Salmon Creek Road
*California Darner Rhionaeschna californica– 1female photographed
March 10, 2017
Sonoma County
Kathy & Dave Biggs
Our backyard pond, Sebastopol
Pacific Forktail – 1 mature male
Sonoma County
Alan Wight
Nagasawa Park in Santa Rosa
Pacific Forktails (15) along the shore of the lake, including a pair in wheel. 
*Western Forktail Ischnura perparva– 1 male photographed
San Bernardino County

Doug Karalun

Temperatures were in the 80s in Highland today. - 7 species

East Highland Reservoir

*Tule Bluet Enallagma carunculatum 10

Pacific Forktail 20

Plunge Creek

Unidentified Darner 1

Church Street Drainage

*Black-fronted Forktail Ischnura denticollis 50+

*Familiar Bluet Enallagma civile        2

Vivid Dancer          2

Variegated Meadowhawk    2

March 9, 2017
Sacramento County
Dave Johnson
Sailor Bar, American River, Sacramento
Pacific Forktail – 1
March 2, 2017
Sonoma County
Kathy & Dave Biggs
Ellis Creek Wetlands, Petaluma
Pacific Forktail – 2 maiden flights observed, surely this species. No mature forktails seen.
Santa Barbara County
Hugh Ranson
I took a walk along the rushing San Jose Creek in Goleta today.
A week ago the creek was roaring--the first time it has done so in many a year--and I wondered how dragonfly nymphs could survive such a pounding and scouring.
I didn't think I'd see any odes, but was pleasantly surprised to come across one
Vivid Dancer--a survivor.
March 1, 2017
Sonoma County
Alan Wight
Nagasawa Park in Santa Rosa
Pacific Forktails (30+) along the shore of the lake, including a pair in wheel. 
Variegated Meadowhawk - 1
February 28, 2017
Sonoma County
Gloria Conley
Her Sebastopol backyard pond
*Pacific Forktail Ischnura cervula – 1 maiden flight observed, surely this species.



January 29, 2017
Humboldt County
Tony Westkamper
Van Duzen River.
Variegated Meadowhawk -My arrival was heralded by a small dragonfly which I was delighted to see. For the last 4 or 5 years I've been ID'ing this species.
It seems to overwinter here, or at least they stop on their migrations.
Dragonflies being warm weather critters this is most unusual and I have often been the last in a year and the first in the next year to report a dragonfly in all of California.
I noted 3 or 4 specimens, but none of them were interested in getting their portraits done.
In fact they were extremely skittish.
I got one and only one shot and thank goodness for a long lens and high pixel count so I could crop the image.
The big thing here is they survive the cold overnight temperatures. How or why remains a mystery.
January 16, 2017
Santa Barbara County
Hugh Ranson
More Mesa -,right along the coast.

I saw my first ode of the year today--you guessed it, a Variegated Meadowhawk-It was a quite fresh-looking individual. I saw another distant ode at the same location, probably this species, too.

January 10, 2017
Sonoma County
Alan Wight
Keysight Technologies site on Fountaingrove Parkway in Santa Rosa
I saw my first Variegated Meadowhawk of the year
January 8, 2017
Santa Barbara County
Wim Van Dam
Alamo Pintado Creek in Solvang

*Vivid Dancers Argia vivida

*American Rubyspots Hetaerina americana

Santa Bernardino County

Doug Karalun

Took advantage of the 75 degree weather to get out.  In Highland in a flood control ditch I saw a

*Variegated Meadowhawk Sympetrum corruptum male.