“I’m the King of the World!”

Well, that’s what I imagine the following Great Blue Skimmer dragonfly (Libellula vibrans) was thinking as it perched atop a dead tree in a remote part of Huntley Meadows Park on 07 July 2014.

Great Blue Skimmer dragonfly (male)

Moving forward on the make-believe bow, he shouted “I’m the King of the World!” For a few moments, he was.

Great Blue Skimmer dragonfly (male)

This individual is a male, as indicated by its coloration, terminal appendages, and the hamules that are visible below the second segment of its abdomen. Remember that all dragonflies and damselflies have a 10-segmented abdomen, numbered from front to back.

Great Blue Skimmer dragonflies are so common at Huntley Meadows it’s easy to overlook the fact that they are handsome/beautiful insects.

Look closely at the dragonfly’s compound eyes. Notice the darker colored areas called “pseudopupils.” According to Richard Orr, renowned expert on dragonflies and damselflies of the mid-Atlantic region, pseudopupils indicate areas of higher visual acuity.

Great Blue Skimmer dragonfly (male)

Related Resources: Digital Dragonflies, presenting high-resolution digital scans of living dragonflies.

  • Genus Libellula | Libellula vibrans | Great Blue Skimmer | male | top view
  • Genus Libellula | Libellula vibrans | Great Blue Skimmer | male | side view
  • Genus Libellula | Libellula vibrans | Great Blue Skimmer | female | top view
  • Genus Libellula | Libellula vibrans | Great Blue Skimmer | female | side view

Copyright © 2014 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

Advertisements

Tags: , , , , , , ,

2 Responses to ““I’m the King of the World!””

  1. Mike Powell Says:

    I commend your titanic efforts to get these shots of Leonardo, your Great Blue Skimmer and learned some new things in your posting about a dragonfly’s eyes. As a former school teacher, you probably had a lot of experience with “pseudopupils.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: