Odonata of NM

Dragonfly and Damselfly Hunting Grounds in the Albuquerque Area

There are certainly more locations to find Odonates than shown on the map.

If you discover a great spot, please let me know at the email link above.

Check out the Odonata Photo Gallery - most photos were taken at locations shown on the map.

For comments, corrections, or questions use the contact tab above. Date of last update is included in the description on the map.


Dragonflies and damselflies are insects of the order Odonata. They are fierce predators of small insects. Some species fly back and forth over water or fields hunting small insects, while other species hunt from a perch waiting for their prey to fly into range. Like little helicopters these insects fly in six directions: upward, downward, forward, back, and side to side. They are widespread in the Southwest, but are usually found near water such as our Rio Grande Bosque or nearby fields.

They have large, multifaceted eyes that provide wide angle vision; two pairs of strong transparent wings & six legs attached to a muscular Thorax; and a long slender Abdomen. Males are generally more colorful than the females.

Dragonflies and damselflies breed in ponds, marshes and slow ditches. The females lay their eggs into water or in some species actually insert the eggs into plants. Eggs hatch into tiny larva called nymphs. These nymphs live underwater, catching tiny insects such as mosquito larva for food. As they grow they will molt up to a dozen times because their skin does not stretch. They live in the water often for several months before climbing out of the water to spread their wings and fly. Most dragonflies only live for a few months and damselflies for even shorter lengths of time.

When perched dragonflies hold their wings open and outstretched, while the smaller damselflies typically hold their wings folded back along their body. I've added a few links to Odonata web sites below.

I would be happy to answer your questions or read your comments, please use the email link in the header.