Great Blue Skimmer dragonfly (old female)

A Great Blue Skimmer dragonfly (Libellula vibrans) spotted near the suspension bridge over Accotink Creek, Accotink Bay Wildlife Refuge. This individual is an old female, as indicated by its gray-brown coloration, the flanges beneath its eighth abdominal segment (used to scoop and hold a few drops of water during oviposition), and by the terminal appendages at the end of its abdomen. Remember that all dragonflies and damselflies have a 10-segmented abdomen, numbered from front to back.

Females become duller and darker with age, eyes may become blue. Source Credit: Paulson, Dennis (2011-12-19). Dragonflies and Damselflies of the East (Princeton Field Guides) (Kindle Locations 9196-9197). Princeton University Press. Kindle Edition.

1318-cr2-ver2_aperture

Contrast the appearance of this old female Great Blue Skimmer with a young female of the same species: Great Blue Skimmer dragonfly (female)

Habitat: Accotink Bay Wildlife Refuge, a 1,200 acre preserve located at Army Garrison Fort Belvoir, Fairfax County, Virginia USA.

Copyright © 2012 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved. www.wsanford.com

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