This small, colorful dragonfly is called a Halloween pennant. It would be easy to mistake it for a butterfly at first, as it flies on colorful brown-and-orange wings with red accents. However, once it lands on a reed or stem, its posture is clearly that of a pennant.
Pennants are a type of dragonfly that gets its name from landing on tall stalks and sticking out like a flag, waving in the breeze. These dragonflies get the “Halloween” part of their name from their coloration.
Halloween pennants are quite common at Nature Boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo right now. We were delighted to see the first one at the beginning of July, as we never observed this species at Nature Boardwalk last year. Shortly after that, we began seeing them all over the place, and now they’re site regulars.
The best time to observe dragonflies is on sunny warm days, in the middle of the day. Dragonfly season is in full swing, so there is no better time than now to go out and see what colorful species you can find at Nature Boardwalk!