Aquatic insect or larva
Location: Los Angeles, CA
September 23, 2010 8:44 pm
I found this bug hidden in the water under a thick carpet of water lettuce in my pond. It appears to be fully aquatic at this time, but I see four future wings that are probably not all that useful in water.
The pond was visited many times by a red dragonfly. This guy is a bit stubby but I wonder if it’s one if its brood. Surprised it survived (so far) the voracious mosquito fish that live in there.
This is certainly a Dragonfly Naiad, and since you saw a red Dragonfly visit your pond, we feel confident identifying your Naiad as that of a Big Red Skimmer, Libellula saturata, based on an excellent drawing by T. Ross that illustrates Charles Hogue’s excellent book Insects of the Los Angeles Basin, a must have for anyone living in Los Angeles. You can buy it at the Museum of Natural History gift store. BugGuide does not recognize the name common name used by Hogue for Libellula saturata and the species is called the Flame Skimmer. In honor of one of the best contemporary insect book authors, we will adhere to Hogue’s terminology.