Sympetrum pallipes
Striped Meadowhawk is one of the three common meadowhawks in Monterey County. Like other meadowhawks, males sit near water, wings swept forward, waiting to launch themselves at a female, or to defend their territory.  
The male Striped Meadowhawk (above & below) has a tomato-red abdomen when it is a full adult, often with white pruinescence on the underside. The wings are typically clear (occasionally washed with amber at the base) with a reddish-brown pterostigma that is paler at both ends.
Photo (top) 17 July 2006 Laguna Grande
Photo (above) 5 Aug 2006 Arroyo Seco

Many meadowhawks have stripes on the sides of the thorax, but Striped also has a pair right on top the brown thorax.

Photo (left) 14 Aug 2006 Indian Valley Reservoir, ALP

Leg color can be important in some meadowhawks but not this one. Legs can be black (above) or yellow to tan (right in a close-up). In both cases, though, the thorax is brown; the eyes are brown; and the face is pale cream.

Photo (right) 3 Sep 2006 Frog Pond Nature Area Reserve

Female Striped Meadowhawk (above) is paler and browner than males, and shows a black line down the sides of the abdomen. She also has a pair of stripes atop the thorax, and has brown eyes, pale face, and clear wings wing (sometimes) a slight rusty wash at the base.
Photo (above) 12 Aug 2006 South Lake Tahoe, ED
Photo (below) 14 Aug 2006 Indian Valley Reservoir, ALP
Although in many respects Striped Meadowhawk is "just a brown meadowhawk," it can be dramatic when perched above red leaves (above). It appears to be widespread in MTY. It was also common in an August visit to the Lake Tahoe area, which provided a number of nice photos for this page.

The map shows a selection of sites at which Striped Meadowhawk has been found. It is probably widespread throughout the county in the lowlands, although as yet no records are right along the Big Sur coast. It is possible that the species doesn't like the summer fog so typical of this area.

In MTY flight dates stretch from 20 May to 10 Aug. Elsewhere in California flight dates range from Apr –Nov (Manolis 2003), so its flight span in MTY is likely longer than currently reported.

Literature cited:
  • Manolis, T. 2003. Dragonflies and Damselflies of California. Univ. of Calif. Press, Berkeley.

Web resources:
Major identification web sites with much information on California odes include:

For sites with excellent photos to compare for identification or to simply enjoy, see: Many of these sites have links to other useful pages. Kathy Biggs's site is particularly useful in her selection of links.

All photos © Don Roberson 2007


Page created 24 Mar 2007