This large woodland dragonfly is found in southern and eastern Illinois. It is our only large, gray species and one of the few dragonflies that perches on tree trunks.
Gray petaltails are big enough to catch and eat large insects, even other dragonflies. Look for males perched in sunny spots near hillside springs and seeps, where the semi-aquatic nymphs live in wet leaf litter.
To learn more about dragonflies in Illinois, visit the Museum's Dragonfly Web exhibit.