Erpetogomphus designatus maleOdonata at the Arkansas River & Wichita-Sedgwick County Flood Control Diversion Canal (Big Ditch) at 21st St. N. (Wichita)

A Web Page by Roy J. Beckemeyer (send mail to royb at
Last Updated: 20 June 2001

One of the prettiest of the clubtails (Family Gomphidae) of central Kansas is the Eastern Ringtail, Erpetogomphus designatus.  Above right is a dorsal view of a freshly colored male that I collected while it was perched on grasses in a sandy area adjacent to the river.  I had taken another specimen here several years ago in nearly the same place.  Left below is a lateral view of the this lovely clubtail.

Erpetogomphus designatus maleAnother specialty species of this site is the libellulid Dythemis fugax, the Checkered Setwing.  Below are images of a female (right, dorsal view; lower left, lateral view): This species is one that I had also collected in Cherokee County at the Mined Lands WA, where it occurs with a congener, D. velox.




Dythemis fugax femaleDythemis fugax female









Ponded area in drainage channel of Arkansas River floodway, Wichita.Right is a picture of a ponded area in the drainage channel below the diversion dam.  In normal times, the water passes through the river channel, and only in floods is it diverted into the drainage channel, so these ponds are only occassionally fed by the river.  Below left is a view of the river channel upstream of the dam. 


Arkansas River above diversion dam, WichitaPantala flavescens maleThese pictures of the site made in the evening of 26 July, 2000.  

At 2030 on that date, there were a few Epitheca (Epicordulia) princeps and Pantala flavescens (male, right; female, below left) flying around.  This species is truly cosmopolitan, and can be seen almost everywhere in the world.  I have seen it in Belize and Thailand, so even though it is a common species, it can remind you of home when you are traveling and of exotic places when you are home.

Pantala flavescens femaleAlso, as I walked around the sandy scrub, Libellula luctuosa, Erythemis simplicicollis (female, below right), and Dythemis fugax were flying when disturbed from their perches.  

Erythemis simplicicollis female Below left and right are images of male D. fugax.  Note that the male has a bright red face and deep mahogany eyes, and does not have the smoky wing tips that characterize the female.         



Dythemis fugax male



Dythemis fugax male


Along the river below the dam there are areas where grasses line the bank.  These are favored spots for the beautiful calopterygid damselfly Hetaerina americanaHere is a photo of a tandem pair, with the male opening his wings to display a warning flash of ruby red color at other passing males (below, left).  To the right is a scanned lateral view of a female (top) and male (bottom).


Hetaerina americana pair in tandemHetaerina americana male (bottom) and female (top)








Another damsel found in this area is the coenagrionid species Argia moesta, the Powdered Dancer.  Here is a female:

Argia moesta female





Visits made in mid-July, 2000.

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