Tuesday, August 07, 2007
Dragonflies are tough. I can't make this one exactly fit any of the pictures on BugGuide or Giff Beaton's site. I think it's one of the Libellula species but I'm not even sure of that.
Possibly a Slaty Skimmer (Libellula incesta). (!)
Or Bar-winged Skimmer (Libellula axilena).
Or Great Blue Skimmer (Libellula vibrans).
Or I'm just fixated on Skimmers and it's not actually one of those. None of them look quite right.
I think this one is a female Common Whitetail (Plathemis lydia).
WikiThings I learned while trying to ID these dragonflies (sometimes called Snake Doctors here in the south):
The fossil record shows a Permian-period dragonfly with a whopping wingspan of almost 30 inches (76 cm).
The largest modern-day dragonfly has a wingspan of 7.5 inches (19 cm), and the smallest reaches only .75 inch (20 mm).
They are the world's fastest insects.
They have nearly a 360° range of vision.
Libellula was also the name of some prototype aircraft with odd wing designs.
If anyone knows what the first one is, please leave a comment or email me.
Nuthatch has given me a positive ID: female Slaty Skimmer. And a new word: pruinose! (Having a whitish, waxy, powdery covering or bloom on the surface.) Thanks Nuthatch.