Needham’s Skimmer dragonflies (males)

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I spotted several red dragonflies (males) during a photowalk through “Paul Spring Park,” one of seven small parks owned and maintained by the Community Association of Hollin Hills, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. I wasn’t sure whether the dragonflies were Golden-winged Skimmers or Needham’s Skimmers. I consulted Richard Orr, renowned Odonata expert, for help in identifying the red dragons I saw. According to Richard, …

If you were on the [Atlantic] coastal plain the chances are that you were seeing Needham’s Skimmers and not Golden-winged [Skimmers]. However that does not work 100% of the time.

A range map for Needham’s Skimmers supports Richard’s speculation. “Needham’s Skimmer” (Libellula needhami) is named after James Needham, author of the out-of-print classic reference book, Dragonflies of North America (see Photo 6 of 6, shown above).

Habitat: Paul Spring, a small stream that flows through Paul Spring Park year-round.

Photos © Copyright 2011 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved. www.wsanford.com

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