Atlas results have already been put to use in the conservation of damselfly and dragonfly species across the state. We continue to make these data available to researchers or anyone else interested in the status, distribution, ecology or conservation of these insects.
This atlas presents the status and distribution of 146 species of Odonata from Vermont, compiled from a data set of more than 10,000 records.
With the exception of Grand Isle County, whose terrain is relatively flat and unvaried, we have documented at least 77 species in each county. Below you can link to county lists compiled through our data housed at Odonata Central.
Number Species in Each County
- Addison – 100
- Bennington – 104
- Caledonia – 81
- Chittenden – 102
- Essex – 104
- Franklin – 77
- Grand Isle – 60
- Lamoille – 84
- Orange – 80
- Orleans – 79
- Rutland – 116
- Washington – 99
- Windham – 117
- Windsor – 93
One of our objectives is to document dragonfly and damselfly distributions that may be shifting as a result of climate change. For example, of the 31 species added to the state list since the year 2000, Vermont lies on the southern edge of five, none of which is common or appears to be expanding. However, Vermont lies at the northern edge of 16 of these new species, and 10 show signs of expansion, many becoming quite common.
State Wildlife Action Plan: Species of Greatest Conservation Need
Work during this atlas provided vital species distribution and occurrence information for the Vermont Wildlife Action Plan (2015). The plan has expanded our understanding of rare habitat-specialist dragonfly and damselfly species, and provides a comparative baseline for future monitoring. Results include: 1) new records of Spine-crowned Clubtail (Gomphus abbreviatus) on two rivers; 2) a better understanding of the four species of Ophiogomphus, particularly on the White River; 3) discovery of at least two previously unknown populations of Stygian Shadowdragon (Neurocordulia yamaskinensis), a species that had been rarely encountered in Vermont; 4) an expanded knowledge of seven species of Somatochlora distribution in and around peatlands, including Ringed Emerald (S. albicincta), Lake Emerald (S. cingulata), and Delicate Emerald (S. franklini), revealing that Silvio Conte National Wildlife Refuge and West Mountain Wildlife Management Area have some of the highest Somatochlora diversity in New England; and 5) two new peatland sites for Ebony Boghaunter (Williamsonia fletcheri). Future efforts toward odonate conservation will continue to rely on the information resulting from this atlas.
List of Vermont Species of Greatest Conservation Need (SGCN)
*Regional responsibility species identified in White et al. (2014).
Bog/Fen/Swamp/Marshy Pond Group (15 species)
- Mottled Darner (Aeshna clepsydra)
- Zigzag Darner (Aeshna sitchensis) *
- Subarctic Darner (Aeshna subarctica) *
- Comet Darner (Anax longipes)
- Swamp Darner (Epiaeschna heros)
- Cyrano Darner (Nasiaeschna pentacantha)
- Spatterdock Darner (Rhionaeschna mutata)
- Subarctic Bluet (Coenagrion interrogatum)
- Petite Emerald (Dorocordulia lepida)
- Ski-tipped Emerald (Somatochlora elongata) *
- Forcipate Emerald (Somatochlora forcipata) *
- Delicate Emerald (Somatochlora franklini) *
- Kennedy’s Emerald (Somatochlora kennedyi) *
- Ebony Boghaunter (Williamsonia fletcheri)
- Black Meadowhawk (Sympetrum danae) *
River/Stream Group (17 species)
- American Rubyspot (Hetaerina americana)
- Blue-fronted Dancer (Argia apicalis)
- River Bluet (Enallagma anna) *
- Rainbow Bluet (Enallagma antennatum) *
- Big Bluet (Enallagma durum)
- Stygian Shadowdragon (Neurocordulia yamaskanensis)
- Spine-crowned Clubtail (Gomphus abbreviatus)
- Midland Clubtail (Gomphus fraternus)
- Rapids Clubtail (Gomphus quadricolor)
- Cobra Clubtail (Gomphus vastus)
- Skillet Clubtail (Gomphus ventricosus) *
- Brook Snaketail (Ophiogomphus aspersus)
- Riffle Snaketail (Ophiogomphus carolus)
- Maine Snaketail (Ophiogomphus mainensis)
- Rusty Snaketail (Ophiogomphus rupinsulensis)
- Riverine Clubtail (Stylurus amnicola) *
- Zebra Clubtail (Stylurus scudderi)
Lakes/Ponds Group (7 species)
- New England Bluet (Enallagma laterale) *
- Slender Bluet (Enallagma traviatum)
- Lilypad Forktail (Ischnura kellicotti)
- Ringed Emerald (Somatochlora albicincta) *
- Lake Emerald (Somatochlora cingulata)
- Banded Pennant (Celithemis fasciata) *
- Carolina Saddlebags (Tramea carolina)
- Blust, M. and Pfeiffer, B. (2015). The Odonata of Vermont. Bulletin of American Odonatology 11(3-4), 69-119.
- Hunt, P. D., Blust, M., & Morrison, F. (2010). Lotic Odonata of the Connecticut River in New Hampshire and Vermont. Northeastern Naturalist,17(2), 175-188.
- Hunt, P.D. (2012) The New Hampshire Dragonfly Survey. New Hampshire Audubon. (PDF)
- Vermont Wildlife Action Plan Team. 2015. Vermont Wildlife Action Plan 2015. Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department. Montpelier, VT.
- White, Erin L., Pamela D. Hunt, Matthew D. Schlesinger, Jeffrey D. Corser, and Phillip G. deMaynadier. (2014). A conservation status assessment of Odonata for the
northeastern United States. New York Natural Heritage Program, Albany, NY. (PDF)