Minnesota Dragonfly

Calico Pennant

Celithemis elisa

The Calico Pennant is one of the fanciest dragonflies around. Males are black and red with intricate red and yellow wing markings and red heart shaped top spots on their black abdomen. Females and immature males look similar except that they are primarily yellow and black instead of red and black


Field Marks
  • Average adult size is approximately from 0.9 to 1.3 inches
  • Face yellow and red becoming more red with age
  • Red eyes
  • Reddish-brown thorax with black markings
  • Black abdomen with red heart shaped top spots
  • Cerci yellow turning red with age
  • Yellowish leading edge on each wing with brown spots extending from the base, at the nodus and tip of each wing
  • Wide dark red patches at the base of hindwing with red veining and a yellow window in the middle

Click on photos above for a close-up view.

Field Marks
  • Yellow face with eyes that are red over greenish yellow
  • Yellow and black thorax
  • Black abdomen with yellow triangular shaped top spots and pale cersi
  • Large patches at base of hindwing have a much larger yellow window than males

Click on photos above for a close-up view.


Natural History


Often found in grassy fields near the water. Both males and females frequently perch horizontally from the tops of grasses, weeds, twigs, rushes or other vegetation. When perched in this manner they look similar to flags or pennants which is how this genus (Celithemis) got its common name (Pennant)


Clear ponds and lakes with marshy or boggy edges and a lot of vegetation


Mating takes around 5 minutes and usually take place away from the water, usually in grassy fields not far from the water. After mating pair flies in tandem to the water to la the eggs. Occasionally the female will continue to lay eggs alone after the male has released her

Range Maps

Click on the icons above for this species' range maps

Click here for county and state checklists from Odonata Central.

Range maps and checklists courtesy of Odonata Central. Copyright © 2016 OdonataCentral. All Rights Reserved. Abbott, J.C. 2006-2018. OdonataCentral: An online resource for the distribution and identification of Odonata. Available at www.odonatacentral.org.