Dragonflies and Damselflies

Saturday morning in Atenas I checked with my new internet order-delivery service called “Atenas WebShop” and had two packages, one a new paperback book from Amazon.com, Dragonflies and Damselflies of Costa Rica, A Field Guide by Dennis Paulson and William Haber (Link to Amazon ordering). It’s also available direct from the publisher, Cornell University Press.

It is a very thorough and scientific book and the first I’ve found anywhere here to help me identify these odonatan insects that I occasionally photograph. They have detailed descriptions and photographs of all 283 Dragonflies and Damselflies identified in Costa Rica with more being discovered frequently here.

I will use it to try and identify the ones I already have in my Dragonflies and Damselflies Photo Galleries, though it will not always be easy as there are some finely detailed differences between many species that all of my photos are not good enough to show, but at least I will have more labeled than before! 🙂

Now I just wish someone would develop as good a field guide for the butterflies of Costa Rica! A much bigger job! And until then I will continue to use the Butterflies of Mexico & Central America book for my IDs.

¡Pura Vida!

1st Dragonfly in Garden

The first in a long time for me and the first since the rainy season began early in April. Like many I’ve seen here, I cannot identify it yet, but just ordered a new book from Amazon, Dragonflies and Damselflies of Costa Rica: A Field Guide (Zona Tropical Publications / Antlion Media). I’m hoping it will help me in identifying the many dragonflies here. In the meantime, if you know this one for sure, leave a comment with the ID. 🙂

April Dragonfly in My Garden, Atenas, Costa Rica

And check out my Gallery: Dragonflies & Damselflies

“I love to see the sunshine on the wings of the Dragonflies… there is magic in it.”

― Ama H. Vanniarachchy

¡Pura Vida!

Maquenque Damsel & Dragonflies

I walked over two wetlands bridges every time I approached or left my room (3 or 4 times a day) and thus saw a lot of dragonflies, but sorry to say no really great photos, but they are always interesting! 🙂 And there is no easy way to identify this beautiful creatures. Online websites are conflicting and no dragonfly book for Costa Rica.

My CR Dragonfly Gallery has more!

By discovering nature, you discover yourself. ~Maxime Lagacé

¡Pura Vida!

Dragonfly & Squirrel


This dragonfly and squirrel round out my photos of wildlife at Xandari, having already done posts on Birds and Butterflies. The latter giving me 4 new species! Dragonflies seem to interest everyone almost as if magical or “fairy-like” as butterflies, though the larger ones are easier to photograph than these tiny blue ones. See my separate photo galleries for Costa Rica Dragonflies and for Costa Rica Damselflies for more of this magic!



Variegated Squirrel

IMG_9155-A-WEBAnd finally, every man’s pest, the squirrel, in this case the Variegated Squirrel, the most common in Costa Rica. But there are other species of squirrels and I have galleries on 3 of them:


An animal’s eyes have the power to speak a great language.

~Martin Buber


¡Pura Vida!

Xandari Costa Rica

Other Wildlife at Macaw Lodge

This is not all that I saw! There were really a lot of lizards of all kinds, especially a lot of Common Basilisks, which I never got a good photo of except the one juvenile below without the crown on his head. And as usual a lot more butterflies than I could ever get photos of. Plus my main focus is always birds!   🙂    But here is some “other wildlife”:



Walking is my main method of relaxation. I don’t go over my lines or try to solve the world’s problems, I just enjoy the scenery and the wildlife.

~Kevin Whately

Macaw Lodge

¡Pura Vida!


I love dragonflies with some of my past favorite nature photos being dragonflies, like the Blue Dasher Dragonfly I photographed at Montgomery Bell State Park in Tennessee that was my most popular photo in 4 years of Arts & Crafts Fairs.   🙂   Who would have thunk?   🙂

Then there was the Tropical King Skimmer Dragonfly on the Amazon River in 2006 and a similar one on my first trip to Costa Rica in 2009 at Corcovado National Park!

See all of my Costa Rica Dragonflies in my CR dragonfly gallery! And I have a long way to go since there are about 270 species of dragonflies in Costa Rica!   🙂  The one above is right here at Macaw Lodge and I’m unable to identify it right now.

“I love to see the sunshine on the wings of the Dragonflies… there is magic in it.” 
― Ama H.Vanniarachchy

Macaw Lodge

¡Pura Vida!

One of 270+ Species of Dragonflies Here!

Dragonfly resting on my terrace, Roca Verde, Atenas, Costa Rica.
I looked through hundreds of photos online and could not identify.

“Costa Rica is home to more than 500,000 species, which represents nearly 4% of the total species estimated worldwide, making Costa Rica one of the 20 countries with the highest biodiversity in the world. Of these 500,000 species, a little more than 300,000 are insects.

Costa Rica is considered to possess the highest density of biodiversity of any country worldwide.[3] While encompassing just one third of a percent of Earth’s landmass, approximately the size of West Virginia, Costa Rica contains four percent of species estimated to exist on the planet.[4] Hundreds of these species are endemic to Costa Rica, meaning they exist nowhere else on earth. These endemic species include frogs, snakes, lizards, finches, hummingbirds, gophers, mice, cichlids, and gobies among many more.[5]

“Costa Rica’s biodiversity can be attributed to the variety of ecosystems within the country. Tropical rainforests, deciduous forests, Atlantic and Pacific coastline, cloud forests, and mangrove forests are all represented throughout the 19,730 square miles of Costa Rica’s landmass.[6] The ecological regions are twelve climatic zones. This variation provides numerous niches which are filled by a diversity of species.”
Copied from Wikipedia      (Emphasis in red is mine.)

“In the presence of nature, a wild delight runs through the man, in spite of real sorrows.”   –Ralph Waldo Emerson

Bribri Insects

Still working on my bird photos, so just 3 insects tonight who are not the ones that bit my legs that still itch!  🙂 We slept under mosquito nets and I sprayed myself every day with Deet-infused Off! Yet these 3 guys still let me get close enough for photos.

Great Blue Skimmer was everywhere! Lots of standing water!
Bribri Yorkin Forest, Costa Rica

Banded Satyr
Bribri Yorkin Forest, Costa Rica

Banded Peacock or Fatima Butterfly
Bribri Yorkin Forest, Costa Rica
Orange-barred Sulphur
Bribri Yorkin Forest, Costa Rica

White Peacock
Bribri Yorkin Forest, Costa Rica
Unidentified Butterfly or Moth
Bribri Yorkin Forest, Costa Rica
And for more, see my separate PHOTO GALLERIES on: 

All life is linked together in such a way that no part of the chain is unimportant. Frequently, upon the action of some of these minute beings depends the material success or failure of a great commonwealth.
— John Henry Comstock