The Common Whitetail Dragonfly, Libellula lydia, has a long activity period. Whitetails can be active in Indiana as early as April and some are still flying late into September and early October.
Whitetails rest on the ground to hunt for prey. They blend well with surroundings and are difficult to spot. A passing hiker is usually unaware of the dragonfly until a too close approach causes the dragonfly to take flight. Like most dragonflies, the Common Whitetail is territorial and will return to its favorite resting spot. To observe a dragonfly, wait motionless near where the dragonfly was resting. Often the dragonfly will return to its previous spot.
The Whitetail Dragonfly chooses a resting spot in a favorable location to hunt prey. It is a faster flyer and can gain altitude more rapidly than its prey. By resting on the ground and flying up to meet its prey, the dragonfly cuts off the ability of its prey to escape by diving rapidly to the ground.