A Twelve-spotted Skimmer dragonfly (Libellula pulchella) was spotted near a vernal pool at Huntley Meadows Park (HMP). 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, 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.
Editor’s Note: With no disrespect intended toward Kevin Munroe, whom I admire and respect, I feel compelled to point out an error on Kevin’s Twelve-spotted Skimmer page. In the lower-right corner of page 1, an immature male is misidentified as a female. Believe me when I tell you Kevin’s expertise far exceeds mine, but hey, only someone like me with a fixation on odonate terminal appendages would have recognized the immature male’s claspers!
Copyright © 2015 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.