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Visiting Wallkill National Wildlife Refuge for Odonata

Twelve-spotted Skimmer

Twelve-spotted Skimmer

Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge is a small refuge located in Sussex County, New Jersey (with a portion in Orange County, New York.), which is in the northwest corner of the state. The refuge is bisected by the Wallkill River, running south to north. Look here for a refuge map.

According to NJOdes, “Sussex County possesses the longest Odonata checklist of any county in North America. To date, 142 species have been documented here.” Odonata is a sub-order of insects which includes Dragonflies (Anisoptera) and closely related Damselflies (Zygoptera), often collectively referred to as “odes.”

Wallkill River NWR has a variety of habitats which are suitable for locating odes. So far, I have only explored a few locations and some of the trails, but have been able to capture some good images. I have found that the Liberty Loop trail, located off of Oil City Road (in Orange County, NY), is an excellent place to hike and search for Odes. The Appalachian Trail runs through this part of the refuge.

Twelve-spotted Skimmer (Libellula pulchella) Dragonfly – Male perching (Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge)

Stream Bluet (Enallagma exsulans) Damselfly – Male (Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge)

Click on the photos above for more information, or click here to see all photos from Walkill National Wildlife Refuge. To see other images of Odonata, visit my gallery of stock photos of Odonata (Dragonflies and Damselflies)

All images © Clarence Holmes


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