Saturday, January 22, 2011
This dragonfly was just too still when I was taking a picture of it. I thought maybe it was dead. When I reached out to touch it, it still didn't move. But it was still flexible, so if it was dead, it had died recently. Both damselflies and dragonflies are common at the UC Botanical Garden where this one was found. They are not hard to tell apart. Generally, dragonflies are heavy-bodied and hold their wings open when they perch. Damselflies are thinner and hold their wings along their bodies when they perch.
I don't know which dragonfly this is, but it looks like a Variegated Meadowhawk to me, and that one occurs in this area (and also most of the western US). The VM perches on twigs. This one was on a leaf, but close to twigs. And also, the VM flies all year around in the south. So it would not be unusual to see it this time of year. So that is my guess. Varigated Meadowhawk. Maybe I will see if I can find someone to verify.
27 Jan 2011: Several sources have confirmed my ID.