Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Widow Skimmer

Widow Skimmer- Click to enlarge
Maybe it is just a slow news day but I wanted to post something beautiful.  This dragonfly lit on a garden pole and remained for some time.  I  e-mailed the pictures to my local guru George Sims and got his usual prompt ID, later confirmed by his cohorts at

This is a Widow Skimmer (Libellula luctuosa), a dragonfly in the King Skimmer group.  They are a common dragonfly found across most of the United States.  Our specimen is a male, identified by the broad white spots in the mid wing.  This is best seen here in the side view but are easily seen when they are flying.  They are slow flying for a dragonfly and "easy to catch"- relative to say a hummingbird?.

They lay their eggs in the water, preferably pond or pools, and their larvae (naiads) feed on small aquatic insects.  The last molt reveals the adults complete with a set of wings.  They then feed on small flying insects, mate, drop their eggs and the cycle begins again.

Don't you love a story with a happy ending?


  1. Bob,
    I just checked Odonata Central, and see that you have NOT yet registered, and begun submitting your findings. Please do so immediately, else I shall transfer my MN membership to YOUR chapter, and hound you endlessly.

  2. I have been at Bull Creek all week where the land line connection is slower than a Cyrano Darner carrying a bumblebee. I am sure your request for transfer would never make it past the Board- we do have some standards!

  3. Tell you why it is a "widow Skimmer". the husband skimmer found a "Mammary Gland" skimmer!