Posts Tagged ‘female Spangled Skimmer’

More dragonfly species are beginning to reappear as we move deeper in spring. On Thursday as I was exploring in Prince William County with fellow dragonfly enthusiast Walter Sanford, Walter spotted this female Spangled Skimmer dragonfly (Libellula cyanea) perched low in the vegetation, the first member of this species that either of us had seen this season.

There are several different species in which the females and immature males are yellow and brown in color like this dragonfly. Once we got a good look, however, we knew immediately that this was a Spangled Skimmer. How did we know? Spangled Skimmers are the only dragonflies in our area that have a small white patch, known as a stigma, beside a black patch on the outer leading edge of each of its wings. With most other dragonflies, the stigmas are a single color if they are present.

Female Spangled Skimmers retain this yellow and brown coloration throughout their lives, while immature males eventually transition to a blue color, which is presumably why the Latin name for the species is Libellula cyanea.

I expect that I will soon photograph a mature male this season, but if you would like a sneak preview of what one looks like, check out my posting from last year called Spangled Skimmer in June. If you want to search for a Spangled Skimmer dragonfly yourself, they tend to be found in shallow, vegetated, marshy areas.

Spangled Skimmer

Spangled Skimmer

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: