These small dragonflies can be found in salt marshes, mangrove swamps and coastal strands throughout Florida, including the Keys and Dry Tortugas. The range extends along the Atlantic coast from Nova Scotia to Venezuela, including the Gulf coast, Bahamas and Greater Antilles, plus the Pacific coast of Mexico and saline lakes in the western United States.
Juveniles of both sexes have black and yellow stripes on the thorax, and have an abdomen with yellow-orange on top. Males quickly develop a black thorax and the yellow on the abdomen is reduced to small spots before disappearing entirely. Fully mature males are black, mostly appearing a dark dusky blue with brown eyes and dark face. Females vary, having a number of color forms where the thorax and abdomen darken at different rates. The eyes of females and juveniles are brown on top and lighter below with varied colors. Face colors vary, starting out black and yellow and darkening with age. Some individuals may have faint amber mid-wing spots. Erythrodiplax berenice dragonflies are 28-35mm (~1 to 1-1/2 in.) long.
Erythrodiplax berenice is the only North American dragonfly that breeds primarily in salt water.
Seaside dragonlet is one of the subjects of the "Pretty Little Dragonflies" blog post.
Erythrodiplax berenice is a member of the Libellulidae - Skimmers family.
Other species of the Erythrodiplax genus in the Wild Florida Photo database:
Erythrodiplax minuscula - LITTLE BLUE DRAGONLET
Erythrodiplax umbrata - BAND-WINGED DRAGONLET
For more information on this species, visit the following link:
Bugguide.net info page for this species
Date record last modified: Aug 08, 2020