Currently viewing the category: "Dragonflies and Damselflies"

Subject:  Big beautiful dragonfly
Geographic location of the bug:  Kent, WA
Date: 06/25/2021
Time: 04:34 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  This beauty landed on our volleyball net. Never saw one like it!
How you want your letter signed:  AaronF

Eight Spotted Skimmer

Dear AaronF,
Thank you so much for submitting your image of an Eight Spotted Skimmer,
Libellula forensis, which is pictured on BugGuideBugGuide also provides this interesting history of the evolution of its common name:  “Years ago many children refered to this as the ‘Six-spot’, and counted the basal spots as two crossing the thorax, instead of four separate spots. The same went for the then ‘Ten-spot’, which most recent books have switched to calling the ‘Twelve-spotted Skimmer’. The ‘Six-spot’ name doesn’t seem to appear in any books, but was likely rationalized from comparison with the ‘Ten-spot’ that was to be found in many books. Back then, Libellula forensis didn’t seem to have an established published common name yet.”

Subject:  Flame Skimmer rests on tomato cages
Geographic location of the bug: Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
Date: 06/24/2021
Time: 11:04 AM PDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Dear Readers,
As Daniel’s final days as a full time college professor near an end, he is easing into retirement, including spending large portions of the day in the yard just puttering around and observing the wealth of wildlife, including numerous insects.  As the years pass, patterns begin to emerge and species begin to make their annual appearances, somewhat on schedule.  For years, Daniel has observed Dragonflies in his yard that he thought were Flame Skimmers, but thanks to this BugGuide description, he now believes they have been Neon Skimmers which means updating numerous old postings with the corrections.  Though originally identified as Flame Skimmers, Daniel now believes he has been observing both male Neon Skimmers and female Neon Skimmers near the stagnant fountain that serves as a nursery for the naiads, the Dragonfly nymphs that live in the fountain and eat the mosquitoes.

Male Neon Skimmer

Daniel suspects this beauty recently metamorphosed into a winged adult.  It was not at all shy, allowing Daniel to get quite close with his magicphone to capture a series of images, but in this final shot, the Neon Skimmer rotated its head, very much aware that Daniel was staking it with the camera, but it did not fly off for nearly an hour.

 

Subject:  Gorgeous red dragonfly
Geographic location of the bug:  Albany Pine Bush, Albany, NY
Date: 06/10/2021
Time: 08:30 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Dear Bugman,
Susan B. here with yet another dispatch from the Albany Pine Bush! Karner Blue season is ending, but I’m looking forward to more of them in July. Meanwhile I discovered a great wetland area with several ponds, and numerous dragonflies zipping about and skimming over the water. There were quite a few familiar species, but also a few of these dragonflies that I’m not sure about. Finally one landed on a nearby twig and let me get some photos.
I thought they were Red Saddlebags dragonflies at first, but when I got home I realized there doesn’t seem to be a record of Red Saddlebags in my area on iNaturalist, and the photos I found seem to have more light brown on them. For the record, the dragonfly is a bit more vivid and red than it appears in the photo–it’s in silhouette.
For what it’s worth, there were several Black Saddlebags dragonflies flying around as well, and the two or three of this species were similar in size, shape, and behavior, but much more vivid red.
Any ideas?
How you want your letter signed:  Susan B.

Red Saddlebags

Dear Susan,
Just because there is no record of a Red Saddlebags,
Tramea onusta, on iNaturalist does not mean they are not present in Albany.  We believe based on this and other images on BugGuide that your initial impulse is correct and that this is a Red Saddlebags, though BugGuide does not include any New York sightings, but BugGuide does indicate the range is:  “Eastern half of US .”  Insect Identification does include New York sightings.

Subject:  You’re back!!!
Geographic location of the bug:  Jacksonville, Florida
Date: 04/08/2021
Time: 04:10 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I’m so glad you’re back online!  You/your website has brought a lot of joy to me and my family over the years.  I’ve really missed seeing the new ID requests and learning about so many insects.  Hope you and yours are all doing well.  Here’s a nice local dragonfly (Jax, FL) since I have to upload an image for you to get this message.
How you want your letter signed:  Mike

Great Blue Skimmer

Dear Mike,
Thank you so much for your kind words.  Daniel is committed to posting again on a regular basis, however he no longer wants to post images of things people pull from their noses, or out of focus images of spiders they squash.  We really want to concentrate on posting letters that share our own wonder with the world of things that crawl.  We want to stimulate peoples’ appreciation with the natural world and to calm their fear of things they don’t understand.  That said, your image of what we believe to be a male Great Blue Skimmer, based on this BugGuide image, is a marvelous addition to our archives.

Subject:  Dragonfly
Geographic location of the bug:  Huff Lake, Bonner County, Idaho, USA
Date: 09/07/2019
Time: 01:07 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Dragonfly cruising marsh shore of Huff Lake in north Idaho. Apparently mating. Can you identify it from the images?
How you want your letter signed:  Sailortom

Mosaic Darners in mating position

Dear Sailortom,
We believe these are Mosaic Darners in the genus
Aeshna which is represented on BugGuide.  Several similar looking species are found in Idaho, and we do not feel confident providing a species identification.  Though you indicate they were “cruising marsh shore” they do not appear alive in your images.

Mosaic Darner

Thank’s. I am happy with the generic ID. The images are of living Darners. They perched on a dock long enough for pictures. Then they linked up, I assume to mate.

Subject:  Bugs rescued from pool
Geographic location of the bug:  Huntsville, AL
Date: 08/21/2019
Time: 02:17 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  We found several of these swimming around in our pool.  They are obviously water bugs if some variety, but my guess is they are immature, making them harder to identify.  Any clues to what they might grow up to be?
How you want your letter signed:  Brown family

Dragonfly Naiads

Dear Brown family,
These are Dragonfly Naiads, the aquatic larval stage.  If they are allowed to grow in your pool, you will have adult flying Dragonflies after their final metamorphosis.

Dragonfly Naiad