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.