Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Lower Crab Creek: Twelve-spotted Skimmer

We had a great time visiting Lower Crab Creek a couple weeks ago.  Here's what it looks like there.

One of the other species we enjoyed at Lower Crab Creek was the Twelve-spotted Skimmer.  Here's an example:

This species looks a lot like the Eight-spotted Skimmer but, as one might imagine, it has four extra dark spots – one at the tip of each of its long thin wings.

This is a young male, and it still shows yellow striping along the edges of the abdomen.  As it matures, the abdomen will become pruinose whitish-blue, and the yellow stripes will be hard, if not impossible, to see.  The yellow stripes remain visible at all ages in females.

Finally, notice that the front two legs are folded up and tucked behind the head.  You can see those legs just behind the eyes – in fact, the small white spots you see there are actually the "knees" of the legs; that is, the folded joints in the middle of the leg.

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