Insects of Acadiana Park

Order Odonata, Suborder Anisoptera (Dragonflies)

Blue Dasher - Pachydiplax Longipennis

This is one of the more numerous species seen in Spring and Summer around south Louisiana. Males' abdomens are blue, while females' are brown and yellowish-orange.

Halloween Pennant - Celithemis Eponina

Uncommon in the park, this species gets its name from the orange and black pattern on the wings.

 

Eastern Pondhawk - Erythemis Simplicicollis

This is a well-known dragonfly to many. Males are light blue overall, and females have a green thorax with a black abdomen.

Common whitetail - Plathemis Lydia

Males of this species are known for their powder-blue abdomen and black in the wings. Females lack the blue abdomen, but share the wing pattern.

Great Blue Skimmer - Libellula Vibrans

One of the larger species locally; males are a light blue, with black tips to the wings. Females are pale gray on the thorax, with yellow and black abdomens.

Roseate Skimmer - Orthemis Ferruginea

Males of this species are the only pink North American dragonfly. Females resemble the males, but are brown instead of pink. This species is almost always found near water.

Eastern Amberwing - Perithemis Tenera

This is the smallest species of dragonfly that can be found in the park. They are only about the size of a wasp. Both sexes have amber-colored wings, females having dark markings on the wings as well.

Black Saddlebags - Tramea Lacerata

This species (and all saddlebags) get their name from the dark markings on the hindwings. Males of this species have a bluish-black thorax and abdomen, with yellow spots on some of the abdominal segments. Females have smaller "saddlebags" on the hindwings.

Order Hymenoptera (Bees, Wasps and Ants)

Cow Killer Velvet Ant - Dasymutilla Occidentalis

Females of this family are wingless, so they resemble large ants. Males fly, and like other wasp species, do not sting.

Paper Wasp - Polistes Metricus

This is probably the most well-known and easily recognized of our wasp species. One of their nicknames "red wasp", is descriptive of its red head and thorax. They get the name paper wasp from their nests, which are papery in texture.

Thread-Waisted Wasp - Ammophila sp.

These wasps feed on nectar and pollen as adults, inhabiting fields with tall grasses and flowers. The adult females sting caterpillars and sawflies, bring the immobilized victim down into their underground burrow, where an egg is laid ontop of it. The egg hatches, and the larva feeds on the paralyed insect.

Blue Mud Wasp - Chalybion Californicum

Females of this species construct mud nests in sheltered areas, where spiders are stung and paralyzed. Eggs are laid on the spiders and the larvae feed on them when they hatch.

Robber Flies - Promachus Hinei

Robber flies have been compared to falcons, as they sit poised from a perch, and then fly out to capture prey items in mid-air!