Minnesota Dragonfly

Eastern Pondhawk

Erythemis simplicicollis

The Eastern Pondhawk is a ferocious hunter, often preying on other dragonflies their size. They are the only skimmer species with a green face, which both male and female have, but males become mostly blue with pruinose as the mature, while females stay green and black


Field Marks
  • Average adult size is approximately from 1.4 to 1.9 inches
  • Green face
  • Blue-green eyes at maturity
  • Unmarked thorax that is pruinose blue over green
  • Black legs
  • Abdomen pruinose blue
  • Cerci white with dark epiproct
  • Immature male look like females. About a week after they emerge they begin to develop pruinosity, starting with the abdomen then moving to the thorax. It can take weeks for them to change completely

Click on photos above for a close-up view.

Field Marks
  • Green face and eyes
  • Green thorax with 2 narrow, faint side stripes
  • Green abdomen with black spots becoming almost completely black on last segments
  • White terminal appendages
  • Spout style ovipositor

Click on photos above for a close-up view.

Natural History


Eastern podhawks often perch flat on or near the ground. They are ferocious hunters that will catch and eat prey that is their size, including other Eastern Pondhawks. Males usually protect territories from a perch but will also fly with another male in a type of leapfrog pattern. The two will fly close to the water with the male in front dropping down and moving back while the one in the rear flies over him to take the front position. This happens over and over


Still waters, such as ponds, lakes, ditches, and slow-moving streams, with a lot of emergent and floating vegetation


Mating typically takes place in flight. After mating the female will often perch for a while before ovipositing. Eggs are laid during quick trips to vegetation beds where the female will lay around 900 eggs in seconds

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.