Congratulations, Vermont. You’ve got a new dragonfly — Tiger Spiketail (Cordulegaster erronea).
This handsome insect flies on streams and rivers east of the Mississippi, and rarely this far north. Dale Ferland, an angler who likes to poke around rivers, snapped that photo above on Monday from the Black River in Springfield. Kelly Stettner, who’s doing great work educating folks about the river, posted Dale’s image to iNaturalist Vermont, a project of the Vermont Atlas of Life. The spiketail turns out to be the 100th dragonfly species we know of here in Vermont (we’ve also got 44 damselfly species).
Spiketails are so named for the females, which lay their eggs by hovering and plunging their spiked ovipositors, like sewing machines, into flowing water. We’ve got three other spiketail species in Vermont, which you can scroll through and view at the Vermont Dragonfly and Damselfly Atlas at the Vermont Atlas of Life.
Whether we’ve got a resident population of Tiger Spiketails, or whether this is a one-off, remains to be seen. Stay tuned. In any event, way to go, Dale!