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Posts Tagged ‘Widow Skimmer dragonfly’

Flying slowly and weakly with its patterned wings, a male Widow Skimmer dragonfly (Libellula luctuosa) looks amazingly like a butterfly as it flutters by. Fortunately this one stopped to perch on some vegetation at the edge of a small stream and I was able to get this shot.

Widow Skimmer

This was the second time that I have seen a male Widow Skimmer this spring. It’s easy to tell that this is a male, because the females do not have the white spots on their wings. When I saw one last month, though, it was a little tougher to make the call. Immature male Widow Skimmers look a lot like females, as is the case with many dragonfly species. The colors of “fresh” dragonflies tends to be pale and wing patterns may not have developed fully yet. The photo below provides a pretty clear view of the “claspers” at the tip of the abdomen, which indicates that this is a male. Eventually he will grow up and begin to look more like the mature Widow Skimmer in the first photo.

Widow Skimmer

Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Although I usually try to get close up for my dragonfly photos, I am unusually pleased with this image I took yesterday of an immature male Widow Skimmer dragonfly (Libellula luctuosa), which has an artistic quality that is not always found in my close-ups.

For those who might be curious about the identification, the white on the wings indicates that it is a male (females have only dark blotches) and the yellow and black body indicates that it is immature,because adult males have bluish-colored bodies.

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© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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It was exciting for me to spot a new dragonfly this weekend, a male Widow Skimmer dragonfly (Libellula luctuosa).

I really like the brown and white pattern on the wings, which was distinctive enough that it also helped me in identifying it. According to Bugguide, the species name means sorrowful or mournful, perhaps because the wings of both male and female seem to be draped in mourning crepe.

The weather has turned hot and humid, which is typical for the Washington D.C. area, which seems to be great for the dragonflies, so I’ll be out as often as I can tolerate the heat, searching for new dragonflies to photograph.

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© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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