|Nanton Lake, BC|
After some research, I believe it was a Cardinal Meadowhawk (Sympetrum illota). Meadowhawks are common in British Columbia. Cardinal Meadowhawks are found flying more often late in the summer season. Based on the brilliant red colour of my guest, I think it was a male. Females are also red, but not quite so intense.
|Cardinal Meadowhawk dragonfly resting on my kayak.|
They can be seen flying around ponds, parks and yards. Meadowhawks rest with their transparent wings held in a forward position. Look for them on the ground, low plants, or even moving kayaks.
Dragonflies either mate in flight or while perched on plants. The eggs are either dropped from the air, or placed in the water as the female swoops down, touching the surface. Larvae hatch to become aquatic nymphs before going through metamorphosis into their aerial adult form. The nymphs (naiads) feed on tadpoles, invertebrates, and even small fish. Adult dragonflies feed mostly on flying insects including their brothers, sisters, and cousins. -- Margy
References: Bugs of British Columbia (Lone Pine Publishing, 2001) by John Acorn and Ian Sheldon, and Insects of the Pacific Northwest (Timber Press Field Guide, 2006) by Peter Haggard and Judy Haggard, and E-Fauna BC: Electronic Atlas of the Wildlife of British Columbia online.