Thursday, January 24, 2019

Species Spotlight: Flame Skimmer

Next up in the spotlight is another striking skimmer—the Flame Skimmer. This flame-colored species is quite common in the southwest, but it is also found in Northern California, Oregon, and just recently a sighting was made in Washington, just across the Columbia River from Oregon.

Here's a look at a male Flame Skimmer:

This species is distinguished from the similar Neon Skimmer by having dark-red rectangular "bars" at the base of the wings, near the leading edge. In addition, the coloration in the wings extends beyond the nodus—the bend in the leading edge of the wing—but stops short of the nodus in the Neon Skimmer.

The female of the species is more lightly colored, as seen below:

Notice the "flange" near the tip of the abdomen, which is the female's "egg scoop".

Here are some additional views of the male:

The next photo shows a common practice of this dragonfly—it often perches with its front two legs tucked up behind the head.

Many dragonflies perch this way, and even fly in this configuration.

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