Currently viewing the category: "Dragonflies and Damselflies"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

spangled skimmer
Location: Andover, New Jersey
July 3, 2011 11:18 am
This gorgeous dragonfly had me stumped. Although I live in northwestern New Jersey, I use Kurt Mead’s excellent Dragonflies of the North Woods as my field guide; there’s just no good dragonfly book for the Northeast/Mid-Atlantic. So at first, I thought this slaty-blue d’fly was a slaty skimmer. But then I realized, with some creative googling, that this species with stigma both black and white is a spangled skimmer, Libellula cyanea, a species not in Mead’s book. The white part of the stigma causes this d’fly to have a lovely shimmering quality to its flight.
Signature: Jean LeBlanc

Spangled Skimmer

Hi Jean,
Thanks for doing the laborious research toward identifying this male Spangled Skimmer.  Upon checking BugGuide, we agree with your identification.  We are especially appreciative because we know how challenging Dragonfly identification can be, because of sexual dimorphism as well as intermediary coloration patterns of adults.  Though we have not seen it, if Jeffrey Glassberg’s book Dragonflies Through Binoculars North America is half as good as the Butterflies Through Binoculars books he has written, it is well worth the expense.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Neon Skimmer? (Libellula croceipennis)
Location: Naperville, IL
June 30, 2011 11:18 am
Hello there!
I captured these images last July(2010) of what I think is a male neon skimmer sitting atop a tomato cage. He certainly lives up to his name. This amazingly beautiful creature sat there for 10 minutes while I snapped all kinds of closeups, barely twitching. Then he flew off. Thank you for hosting this amazing site. I could spend hours perusing it and admiring all the astounding photos. Best regards,
Signature: Dori Eldridge

Western Meadowhawk

Hi Dori,
The Neon Skimmer is a western species, and we disagree with your assessment, but alas, we don’t have an alternative.  Dragonfly identifications are very confusing for us, and we would prefer that someone with more experience identify the species.  We have been looking at possibilities on BugGuide to no avail though we do agree that it is most likely in the Skimmer family Libellulidae, which is very well represented on BugGuide.  Then, as we were about to post, we tried a last ditch effort and did a web search for “red dragonfly Illinois” and we found the Field Museum Common Dragonflies and Damselflies of the Chicago Region website, and there was your Western Meadowhawk,
Sympetrum semicinctum.  A cross check on BugGuide satisfied us that the identification was correct, but considers the species to be the Band-Winged Meadowhawk.

Western Meadowhawk

Thank you!  Goodness, living in the midst of a large prairie preserve, you’d think I would have jumped on the Meadowhawk genus from the start and noted the geographical un-likelihood of a neon skimmer.  And thank you for the awesome Field Museum link – I’ve never seen it before.  You are wonderful, wonderful!  Regards,
-Dori

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Male Pondhawk of some type?
Location: Raleigh Municipal Rose Garden, NC
June 27, 2011 2:23 pm
Greetings! My husband took this extreme closeup of what looks to be a male Eastern Pondhawk, except that the ’back’ is black. Is it a different version of a Pondhawk maybe? It was taken June 26, 2011 at the Rose Garden in Raleigh NC – there is a small goldfish pond with native plants where it probably lives & breeds.
Love your site! Take care…
Signature: looks but does not touch

Blue Dasher or Not??

We sometimes have a difficult time correctly identifying Dragonflies.  We cannot say for certain that it is an Eastern Pondhawk based on the variations presented on BugGuide.  Perhaps one of our readers will be able to confirm the identity of this beautiful Dragonfly.

Correction: Blue Dasher
June 30, 2011 11:38 am
I am by no means an expert, but I suspect the male dragonfly whose id you’re unsure about is a male Blue Dasher. The light-colored face, darker thorax (possibly with stripes that can’t be seen from this angle), and the smoky coloration on the wings distinguish it. I believe the obelisking posture is very common among Blue Dashers as well (though many dragonflies do it).
http://bugguide.net/node/view/10606
This photo from Bugguide looks like a good match.
Signature: Susan B.

Thanks Susan,
We agree that the Blue Dasher,
Pachydiplax longipennis, seems like a much likelier identification.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Color Variation in Female Blue Dashers
Location: Ottawa Wetlands, N. Ohio
June 28, 2011 9:48 am
Dear Bugman:
Thought you might be able to use these Blue Dasher close-ups, which show color variation in the females.
While visiting the Ottawa wetlands in N.Ohio, I recently took many photos of Blue Dasher dragonflies. This species was very cooperative & calm and did not fly away the moment I approached; great photo subjects.
I noticed that while many females had the typical brown and yellow patterned abdomen, others had abdomens that were blue…like the males. At first I thought I was mistaken in the ID of the blue tailed Blue Dasher females. Just this morning, I read in an article online, that older females will take on a blue color as they age. Never knew this before, and that info. solved the mystery of why these females came in two color varieties. Anyway, just thought I’d share my latest ”discovery” with your wonderful and informative site.
Signature: Christine

Blue Dasher

Dear Christine,
Your photos are positively gorgeous, as are the Dragonflies you have photographed.  We have a very difficult time identifying Dragonflies, and we are very appreciative that you took the initiative to identify your Blue Dashers.

Blue Dasher

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Eastern Pondhawk Dragonfly?
Location: Coastal SC
June 26, 2011 3:37 pm
Walked out on my back deck and found this dragonfly having lunch. He was so into his meal that he stayed put long enough for me to go back inside for the camera. I did a quick look online and saw that it looks like an Eastern Pondhawk Dragonfly.
Signature: Lisa Ski

Eastern Pondhawk eats Fly

Hi Lisa,
Thanks for taking the time to self identify your Eastern Pondhawk,
Erythemis simplicicollis.  When we checked on BugGuide, we found the examples of males that are turning blue to match your individual who appears to be feasting on a Fly.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

What is this water bug?
Location: Traverse City, MI in a small, inland lake
June 17, 2011 1:47 pm
My son and I spotted this bug swimming in a small, inland lake, in Traverse City, Michigan. It was nearly 2 inches long. When it swam, it tucked its legs along its side and seemed to suck in water and jet it out its back side to propel itself through the water. Any ideas?
Signature: Mat Lardman

Dragonhunter Naiad

Hi Mat,
It is a generally accepted tradition to call aquatic larvae of flying insects by the name Naiads.  This is a Dragonfly Naiad, and more specifically, it is the naiad of a Dragonhunter,
Hagenius brevistylus, a large Dragonfly that often preys upon other Dragonflies.  Here is a photo from BugGuide to compare.  Dragonhunter Naiads are stealth hunters that lie unnoticed among fallen leaves at the bottom of stillwater ponds.

Many thanks for your response. My kids will get a kick out of this. My 10 year old is in Bug Anatomy for his School’s Science Olympiad Team. I told him I though it was the early stage of a Dragon Fly, He thought it was a beetleJ Thanks again.
Mat

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination