Slaty Skimmer dragonfly (immature male)

The following photo shows a Slaty Skimmer dragonfly (Libellula incesta) spotted during a photowalk at Huntley Meadows Park on 07 July 2014. This individual is an immature male, as indicated by its coloration, hamules, and terminal appendages.

Slaty Skimmer dragonfly (immature male)

Slaty Skimmer dragonflies display sexual dimorphism, that is, coloration is different for mature males and females. Immature males and immature/adult females are nearly identical in appearance except for their terminal appendages. Another useful field marker: females have dark wing tips; males, not so much.

Immature male Great Blue Skimmer dragonflies (Libellula vibrans) and immature male Slaty Skimmers are somewhat similar in appearance. In addition to other key field markers such as differences in the coloration of their faces and legs, some odonate experts say you can see a “wolf head” on the side of the thorax of Slaty Skimmers.

The preceding photograph shows the wolf head more clearly than any photo I’ve taken of Slaty Skimmer dragonflies. Look at the full-size version of the photo.

Related Resources:

Editor’s Note: “Odonatacoccygia” is defined as seeing shapes in the patterns on odonates, and I should know, since I coined the term!  Do you see the wolf head on the side of the thorax? I do!

Copyright © 2014 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

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6 Responses to “Slaty Skimmer dragonfly (immature male)”

  1. Mike Powell Says:

    Wonderful shot. I can’t really see a wolf’s head. It feels a bit like looking for shapes in the clouds–each person sees his or her own images.

  2. Robley Hood Says:

    I, on the other hand, see that wolf’s head!

  3. Terminal appendages (male, female) | walter sanford's photoblog Says:

    […] members of the Skimmer Family of dragonflies, such as Great Blue Skimmer (Libellula vibrans) and Slaty Skimmer (Libellula […]

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