Recently I have not taken many insect pictures. Thus, when an eight-spotted skimmer (Libellula forensis) was quietly posing for me along the #2 Elkins Pond Trail in Ash Creek Wildlife Area (Modoc County CA), I decided to post a dragonfly picture for those readers who are especially fond of dragonflies.

Since I previously published a post on the eight-spotted skimmer (see “Eight-spotted Skimmer” on 06-13-14)  I will not repeat that information. Instead here are some characteristics of Libellulidae, the family to which the skimmers (including eight-spotted skimmer), as well as the meadowhawks, gliders, saddlebags and whitefaces, belong:

* mostly New World species.

* a very common group

* also are called “perchers”

* called skimmers because they fly low across the top of the water

* are colorful, mostly reds, blues and yellows

* are dimorphic (difference in appearance) with females generally less colorful or browner

* wings held flat and extend outward from the body when at rest

* hind pair of wings slightly larger than forewings

* body shorter than wingspan

* the long abdomen is distinctly broadened

* prefer slow or still water

* spend more time at rest than other groups of dragonflies

* female oviposits by dipping abdomen into water alone or in company of male

* males are territorial, often returning to the same or nearby  perch.

This time of the year wildflowers are in short supply. Maybe I can concentrate more on “insect flowers” – the moths, butterflies, dragonflies and damselflies.




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