Friday, April 4, 2014

Flame Skimmer at the Water Ranch

Betsy and I visited the Gilbert Water Ranch today.  Lots of activity, including some nice looks at Flame Skimmers, which are just getting started for the year.

Below is a female Flame Skimmer.  You can tell it's a female by the widened flanges near the tip of the abdomen, which is where the eggs come out.  The female uses the flanges to flip droplets of water as it lays its eggs.  Also, notice the lack of hamules.

Female Flame Skimmer at the Gilbert Water Ranch.

An important field mark for this species are the dark red markings near the base of the wings.  This is the best way to distinguish this skimmer from the similar Neon Skimmer, which lacks those dark marks.

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