Friday, June 10, 2011

Twelve-spotted Skimmer

On 8 June, I strolled through Erika's garden.  As I idly watched the female Common Whitetails (see June 7th's blog post), I was startled as I immediately recognized this dragonfly is different!  The yellow stripe down the sides of its abdomen is not jagged.  Instead it forms a straight line--the hallmark of the female twelve-spotted Skimmer (Mead, Dragonflies of the North Woods).

I have yet to spy a male Twelve-spotted Skimmer--with his additional white wing bars, he must be a beautiful arthropod.  Despite the presence of many females, I have also not seen a male Common Whitetail in the garden.  I asked my dragonfly authority, Scott King, about this plethora of females and absence of males.  He replied that, until they are ready to mate, female dragonflies often travel far from their natal ponds.  Erika's garden provides perches for these itinerant females and our water feature produces a ton of delicious blackflies.

No comments:

Post a Comment