The drip watering system in the complex of duplexes I live in constantly breaks and sprays water all over the parking lot, so we get temporary ponds now and then right outside my front door. Lucky for me, this attracts a lot of dragonflies! I captured this photo of a flame skimmer dragonfly (Libellula saturata) last summer on a particularly bad drip system explosion day:
Apparently my husband’s car was prime real estate for this gorgeous male because he spent a few hours guarding it from potential usurpers. :)
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8 thoughts on “Well-Nigh Wordless Wednesday: Flame Skimmer Dragonfly”
What a fantastic Ode! Great shot! It also looks like it’s clinging to a giant insect pin, waiting to become a martyr for science!
Thanks! And I love the idea of him clinging to an insect pin preparing to become a martyr! You know, I came across a specimen of a trap door ant somewhere a while back that had been “pinned” upside down through it’s closed jaws, like it was really pissed at the pin, bit it, and then died right then and there. I was going to take a photo of it as an example of how not to pin an insect properly, but then the stupid mice in my office got it before I had a chance to get a decent shot… Grumble grumble…
Car hoods are often mistaken for pools of water by dragonflies even when they’re dry. Apparently the light reflected off of the paint finish is polarized in such a way that it looks like the surface of water. Pantalas are notorious for ovipositing on car hoods. I guess the eggs can even ruin the finish.
That’s what I hear! You see odes around cars in Tucson all the time, sometimes with the males patrolling intersections and choosing a new car to focus his efforts on every time the light turns red. Bizarre! I’ve never seen a Pantala guarding a car in the city here – it’s almost always Libellula saturata or Pachydiplax longipennis – though it doesn’t surprise me to hear that they do it too.
That makes sense actually because male Pantalas aren’t territorial the way some other libellulids are. The females sure like the hoods for ovipositing, though.
That is a lovely, lovely shot.
Wow. Coming from you, that means a lot! Thanks!
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