Twelve-spotted Skimmer dragonfly (young male)

The following photos show one of two Twelve-spotted Skimmer dragonflies (Libellula pulchella) spotted at Huntley Meadows Park on 31 May 2014. This individual is a young adult male, as indicated by its partial pruinescence, distinctive pattern of wing spots, and terminal appendages. As a mature adult male dragonfly, its abdomen will be completely covered by white pruinescence.

Among dragonflies that exhibit sexual dimorphism, such as Twelve-spotted Skimmers, immature/young males and females are similar in appearance. The pattern of wing spots is a key field marker for identification of Twelve-spotted Skimmer males and females, in addition to differences in their terminal appendages.

Twelve-spotted Skimmer dragonfly (young male)

The “sparkling bokeh” background shown in the next three photos was caused by out-of-focus points of light reflected from the water surface several feet below the dragonfly.

Twelve-spotted Skimmer dragonfly (young male)

Twelve-spotted Skimmer dragonfly (young male)

Twelve-spotted Skimmer dragonfly (young male)

Editor’s Note: I was surprised to see Twelve-spotted Skimmer dragonflies since I have never seen one earlier than mid-July. Kevin Munroe’s excellent Calendar of [Adult] Flight Periods [for Northern Virginia USA] shows Twelve-spotted Skimmers occur from the second week in May to mid-October.

Copyright © 2014 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

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2 Responses to “Twelve-spotted Skimmer dragonfly (young male)”

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