Jun 23 2013

Widow Skimmer

Published by at 6:50 am under Insects, Fish, Frogs

Widow skimmer dragonfly (photo by Charlie Hickey)

When I first saw this cool photo of a dragonfly I thought, "I know the name of that bug."   No.  I did not.

I confess I don't pay much attention to insects unless they're big and beautiful.  Dragonflies fall into that category but I don't know many names.  The strikingly white tail on mature male Common Whitetails (Plathemis lydia) caught my attention years ago.  They have black and clear wings so I made a connection but...

This is a Widow Skimmer (Libellula luctuosa), a different genus but in the same family (Libellulidae).  If I'd paid attention I would have noticed that the Widow Skimmer's wing pattern is black-white-clear while the male Whitetail's is clear-black-clear.   Click here for a look at the Whitetail.

Dragonfly season is upon us.  Now I have something new to study in July.


(photo by Charlie Hickey)

p.s. Charlie tamed the wind to get this exceptionally sharp photo.  Click on the image to read how he did it.

2 responses so far

2 Responses to “Widow Skimmer”

  1. Rob Protzon 23 Jun 2013 at 8:32 am

    Love dragonflies and damselflies! I used to love it when they would land on my kayak paddle and ride along for a while up on Slippery Rock Creek at McConnell’s Mill SP!

  2. Marcy Con 23 Jun 2013 at 10:44 am

    Seems dragonflies and damselflies are everywhere IF you look closely…some are almost invisible and they love to cruise around my yard and even on the deck checking for prey on my flowers in the containers…even small waterfeatures will have these guys flying around…this one was the first to come to the water as we were putting the water into the newly built pond. They sit on the cement blocks sunning themselves at the veggie garden…nice to have and really cool to have them migrate thru your yard esp in the fall…they are everywhere then!!!! Like birds, the male and females look different…some males blue and the females are green…