Friday, September 11, 2009

Dragonfly: Yellow-sided Skimmer (Libellula flavida)

These are the Yellow-sided Skimmers that were at the pool.

Yellow-sided Skimmer (Libellula flavida) - Male

The male was relatively unphased by the periodic buzzing by the larger Twelve-spotted Skimmer. He would simply fly a couple of small circuits, relative to the size of the circuits flown by the Twelve-spotted Skimmer, and settle on the same or another grass stalk. On occasion, he even settled on the same grass stalk as the Twelve-spotted Skimmer.

Yellow-sided Skimmer (Libellula flavida) - Female

The female was unaffected by the interaction between the males. She chose a location near where the male had perched. Then she began executing a series of small vertical oval circuits, dipping her abdomen in the water at the bottom of each circuit. I assumed she was laying eggs. When she finished, she flew off. This all happened too quickly for me to get into a better photograph but I can see the characteristic marking/color on her thorax. (The male is in the lower right-hand corner of the photograph.)

Yellow-sided Skimmer (Libellula flavida) - Female

This is a photograph I took of a female Yellow-sided Skimmer last year; it shows the characteristic markings much more clearly.

Identification resources:

- Dragonflies of Georgia: Yellow-sided Skimmer (Libellula flavida)

- BugGuide: Yellow-sided Skimmer (Libellula flavida) [Male] [Female]

Click the image to view a larger image

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