Great Spreadwing   (three pictures)
Archilestes grandis

female Archilestes grandis
I just noticed the other day how many damselflies I had in the back yard in Taylorsville, Utah. It's kind of
late to see these beautiful little creatures so I took this time to go out to my garden and see if I could get a
few pictures of them or of any other insect or spider hanging around.  I glanced down and noticed a
"dragonfly" perched on a tomato cage.  I did a double-take when I saw that it was, instead, a damselfly - and
a very LARGE damselfly. I first thought it resembled a female Northern Spreadwing because it was brown
but it would have had to be a giant - it was as least 5-6 centimeters in length. I knew then that I had something
different and I also noticed the thorax had a different pattern.  © Carol Davis 8-14-2014

great spreadwing in Northern Utah
This female damselfly was perched about 2 feet off the ground and she let me take some pictures without any
problem, except for once when she flew off and then flew right back to the same spot. I went in the
to check out the photos and to find out what she was. When I discovered she was a Great
I went back outside and got one more shot before she took off and I didn't see her again. I think
she must
be out there somewhere because we have lots of little flying insects now that the damselflies can
feed on
because I always plant flowers in my garden to attract bees, wasps and other critters. © Carol Davis 8-14-2014

female Archilestes grandis in Utah
I keep thinking about how confused I was looking at this large damselfly; it
just didn't sit right in my head because of the size. What a neat
find in my own back yard.  INaturalist has a nice page on this
species.  © Carol Davis 8-14-2014

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