Thursday, July 01, 2010

12 Spot Skimmer

12 Spot Skimmer

This summer has been a great dragonfly season in my yard. Today I went out to get some shots and this wonderful 12 spot skimmer nicely cooperated and kept returning to its perch in my garden, letting me get pretty close before leaving. Click on the image to go to my Flickr stream for a larger view.

There are are also widow skimmers in my yard. I had forgotten just how much sexual dimorphism there can be in dragonflies.

First the male with a greyish bloom and the same sort of grey in the wings as the 12 spot:

Male widow skimmer

Next the female. Note she has no grey bloom at all.

Female widow skimmer

I always think of my mom when I think of dragonflies. She had this this notion the the big green darners around our house would sting and she told me to watch out for them.

These big green dragonflies are commonly called darners or darning needles. One day I found out why when I manged to catch one in my hand. The insect twisted its abdomen around and poked repeatedly at my hand. It started me but I hung on to the insect, the mystery of my mother's fear and the name resolved.

Alas, no darners in my yard.