Posts Tagged ‘Painted Skimmer dragonfly’

More Painted Skimmer dragonflies (males)

December 23, 2015

Painted Skimmer dragonfly (Libellula semifasciata) is another species that should be added to “Top 10 Most Beautiful/Handsome Dragonflies of the Mid-Atlantic USA.”

These two individuals are males, as indicated by their terminal appendages. They are perching in a small meadow near a vernal pool/small permanent pond.

Copyright © 2015 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

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Painted Skimmer dragonflies (males)

December 11, 2015

Flashback to the first week in June, when I shot the last photo set of one of my favorite species of odonate: Painted Skimmer dragonfly (Libellula semifasciata).

No. 1

These individuals are males, as indicated by their terminal appendages, perching in a small meadow near a vernal pool/small permanent pond. As I recall, the images show two different males but it’s been so long since I shot the photos I can’t be sure.

No. 2

Although all three photos look similar, each one is slightly different from the others. I decided to post all three photos since A) I thoroughly enjoy looking at this colorful species of dragonfly; and B) I couldn’t decide which photo is my favorite. Please look at the full-size version of each photo and let me know which one is your favorite. I’m curious to know how many people pick the shot I’d choose if I were forced to select just one.

No. 3

Copyright © 2015 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

Glamour shots: Painted Skimmer dragonfly

August 15, 2015

Two new additions to my “Odonart” portfolio are showcased in this post. Please look at the full-size version of the following photographs in order to appreciate the exquisite beauty of this dragonfly.

A Painted Skimmer dragonfly (Libellula semifasciata) spotted at Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This individual is a female.

22 MAY 2015 | Huntley Meadows Park | Painted Skimmer (female)

The beautiful model in this photo set is a female Painted Skimmer dragonfly (Libellula semifasciata), perching in a small meadow near a vernal pool.

A Painted Skimmer dragonfly (Libellula semifasciata) spotted at Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This individual is a female.

22 MAY 2015 | Huntley Meadows Park | Painted Skimmer (female)

Copyright © 2015 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

Painted Skimmer dragonfly (female, laying eggs)

June 6, 2015

Painted Skimmer (Libellula semifasciata) is a member of the Skimmer Family of dragonflies. Females lay eggs (oviposition) by skimming the water surface repeatedly, hence the family name “Skimmer“; two flanges beneath their eighth abdominal segment (S8) scoop water that is used to flick fertilized eggs toward the shore, as illustrated in the following annotated image. Remember that all dragonflies and damselflies have a 10-segmented abdomen, numbered from front to back.

The following movie shows a female Painted Skimmer dragonfly laying eggs in a vernal pool at Huntley Meadows Park on 20 May 2015. (Same day, different time. Same park, different location. Same species, different female.)

Editor’s Note: Copulation between male and female Painted Skimmers occurs in-flight and is very brief, lasting just a few seconds. In my experience, oviposition is brief too. My camera was set up for shooting still photographs when I spotted the mating pair; by the time I moved into position, the pair had separated and the female was laying eggs. Fortunately I had the presence of mind to shoot video rather than stills. The video quality isn’t great, buy hey, at least I captured the moment, albeit brief!

Copyright © 2015 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

Painted Skimmer dragonfly (female)

June 4, 2015

The following gallery features still photos of the same female Painted Skimmer dragonfly (Libellula semifasciata) who starred in the movie, “Painted Skimmer dragonfly (female, breathing and grooming).”

A Painted Skimmer dragonfly (Libellula semifasciata) spotted at Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This individual is a female.

20 MAY 2015 | Huntley Meadows Park | Painted Skimmer (female)

A Painted Skimmer dragonfly (Libellula semifasciata) spotted at Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This individual is a female.

20 MAY 2015 | Huntley Meadows Park | Painted Skimmer (female)

A Painted Skimmer dragonfly (Libellula semifasciata) spotted at Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This individual is a female.

20 MAY 2015 | Huntley Meadows Park | Painted Skimmer (female)

A Painted Skimmer dragonfly (Libellula semifasciata) spotted at Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This individual is a female.

20 MAY 2015 | Huntley Meadows Park | Painted Skimmer (female)

A Painted Skimmer dragonfly (Libellula semifasciata) spotted at Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This individual is a female.

20 MAY 2015 | Huntley Meadows Park | Painted Skimmer (female)

A Painted Skimmer dragonfly (Libellula semifasciata) spotted at Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This individual is a female.

20 MAY 2015 | Huntley Meadows Park | Painted Skimmer (female)

The following photo is the last one I shot (by hand-holding the camera) before setting up my tripod to shoot some video clips.

A Painted Skimmer dragonfly (Libellula semifasciata) spotted at Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This individual is a female.

20 MAY 2015 | Huntley Meadows Park | Painted Skimmer (female)

Copyright © 2015 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

Painted Skimmer dragonfly (female, breathing and grooming)

June 2, 2015

The following movie features a Painted Skimmer dragonfly (Libellula semifasciata) spotted on 20 May 2015 during a photowalk alongside the wetlands at Huntley Meadows Park. This individual is a female, as indicated by its terminal appendages.

Dragonflies breathe through small holes in the underside of their thorax and abdomen called “spiracles.” Notice the dragonfly’s thorax and abdomen expanding and contracting as she inhales and exhales.

The female appears to be grooming while perching on vegetation, using her front legs to wipe her eyes and face. The author has observed many species of dragonflies engaged in similar behavior.

Tech Tips: The preceding movie looks better viewed in full-screen mode.

The video clips used to create this movie were shot on a very windy day. I used a tripod for my camera and centered the subject in each clip, but the wind caused the dragonfly to drift off-center at times. Not that I’m a perfectionist or anything.

Related Rescources:

Copyright © 2015 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

What’s my motivation?

May 19, 2015

True confession: I’ve struggled to stay motivated recently. The little voice inside my head kept asking, “Why do you endure long, difficult walks through chigger- and tick-infested vegetation, thorny vines, blood-thirsty mosquitos, hot and humid weather — all in pursuit of dragonflies and damselflies?”

Then I was reminded of the answer to my question: Sometimes Mother Nature gives me a glimpse of her awesome beauty. I enjoy sharing photographs of my good fortune, and I enjoy the opportunity for informal science education provided by my wildlife photography. I hope followers of my photoblog enjoy both looking at the photos and reading the related text!

A Painted Skimmer dragonfly (Libellula semifasciata) spotted at Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This individual is a female.

14 MAY 2015 | Huntley Meadows Park | Painted Skimmer (female)

I spotted a single Painted Skimmer dragonfly (Libellula semifasciata) perching in a small meadow near a vernal pool.

A Painted Skimmer dragonfly (Libellula semifasciata) spotted at Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This individual is a female.

14 MAY 2015 | Huntley Meadows Park | Painted Skimmer (female)

This individual is a female, as indicated by its terminal appendages. Female Painted Skimmers have a pair of flanges beneath their eighth abdominal segment that are used to scoop and hold a few drops of water when laying eggs (oviposition), hence the family name “Skimmer.” Remember that all dragonflies and damselflies have a 10-segmented abdomen, numbered from front to back.

A Painted Skimmer dragonfly (Libellula semifasciata) spotted at Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This individual is a female.

14 MAY 2015 | Huntley Meadows Park | Painted Skimmer (female)

I’m especially fond of head-tilts in which the individual seems to display some of its personality.

A Painted Skimmer dragonfly (Libellula semifasciata) spotted at Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This individual is a female.

14 MAY 2015 | Huntley Meadows Park | Painted Skimmer (female)

I worked the shot until my stunningly beautiful model …

A Painted Skimmer dragonfly (Libellula semifasciata) spotted at Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This individual is a female.

14 MAY 2015 | Huntley Meadows Park | Painted Skimmer (female)

… decided the photoshoot was finished and flew high into the nearby trees.

A Painted Skimmer dragonfly (Libellula semifasciata) spotted at Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This individual is a female.

14 MAY 2015 | Huntley Meadows Park | Painted Skimmer (female)

Please look at the full-size version of the preceding photos in order to see the exquisite coloration of this dragonfly.

Copyright © 2015 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

Painted Skimmer dragonfly (male)

May 7, 2015
Painted Skimmer dragonfly (male)

28 APR 2015 | Huntley Meadows Park | Painted Skimmer (male)

This is the second Painted Skimmer dragonfly (Libellula semifasciata) I’ve seen in 2015 at Huntley Meadows Park. Coincidentally this individual is another male, as indicated by its terminal appendages. Unlike the first one of the year that was spotted deep in the forest, this specimen was seen near a vernal pool in a small meadow.

It seems like the early-season Painted Skimmers are super skittish — five snaps and he was gone, similar to the first one!

Painted Skimmer dragonfly (male)

28 APR 2015 | Huntley Meadows Park | Painted Skimmer (male)

Copyright © 2015 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

First Painted Skimmer of 2015

April 29, 2015
Painted Skimmer dragonfly (male)

24 APR 2015 | Huntley Meadows Park | Painted Skimmer (male)

The preceding photo shows the first Painted Skimmer dragonfly (Libellula semifasciata) spotted during Spring 2015, and the only one I saw all day. This individual is a male, as indicated by its terminal appendages. Four snaps and he was gone!

Some odonate experts think Painted Skimmer may be one of several migratory species of dragonflies. If this guy is on the vanguard of an approaching wave of migratory Painted Skimmers, then he must be WAY AHEAD of the group — I revisited Huntley Meadows Park again on 27 April 2015 and didn’t see a single Painted Skimmer.

Related Resources:

Editor’s Note: I spotted another male Painted Skimmer at Huntley Meadows Park on 28 April 2015. Can you say “follow-up post?”

Copyright © 2015 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

Painted Skimmer dragonflies (males)

April 7, 2015

Sometimes the photos speak for themselves: several male Painted Skimmer dragonflies (Libellula semifasciata) spotted on 23 May 2014 near a vernal pool at Huntley Meadows Park.

Painted Skimmer dragonfly (male)

Painted Skimmer dragonfly (male)

Painted Skimmer dragonfly (male)

Painted Skimmer dragonfly (male)

Painted Skimmer dragonfly (male)

Painted Skimmer dragonfly (male)

Copyright © 2015 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.


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