Black Pondhawk
Erythemis attala
The Black Pondhawk (Erythemis attala) is a very rare visitor to the United States, but it can be common in some places in the tropics; it ranges south to Argentina. Prior to 2004, the only U.S. record of this species was one collected in 1989 in Alabama. In the late summer of 2004, Tom Langschied discovered one Black Pondhawk, then a few, then later a small breeding population on the King Ranch in Kleberg Co., Texas. In late October, 2004, John Abbott and I were able to visit Tom and were fortunate to get a few shots of a male Black Pondhawk. The first two shots here were taken with a Canon EOS 1D Mark II and EF 300 mm F4 L IS lens with a 2X extender and 550 EX flash. We observed more than a dozen individuals including females egg-laying. This is a very wary and active dragonfly and difficult to approach so I felt lucky to get the few photos I did.
During the spring and summer of 2008 there were a number of Black Pondhawks located in deep south Texas. In June, 2008, Martin Reid and I found this female at Bentsen Rio Grande State Park. These 2 shots were taken with a Canon EOS 1D Mark III and EF 300mm F/4 L IS lens and flash.