Also known as the ten-spot skimmer, the twelve-spotted skimmer is a common species of skimmer (Libellulidae) that occurs in southern Canada, the United States, and Mexico. Like other dragonflies this species is a predator and will feed on other flying insects. Libellula pulchella is primarily active during the summer and often inhabits ponds, lakes, streams, and other bodies of water.
This image is a good example of how people uncritically taking pictures from Wikipedia / Wikimedia Commons can lead to problems. What problems, you ask?
This image looks like a reputable scientific illustration. It has been replicated on hundreds of educational websites. But those wings are not dragonfly wings at all. They are honey bee wings. Dragonflies and bees are two of the most distantly related groups of insects: their wings are nothing alike.
Endangered dragonflies, raised in captivity over several years, being released in Illinois
by Regina Garcia Cano
Federally endangered dragonflies that have been raised in a
laboratory over the past several years are being released at a forest
preserve this week in Illinois, where scientists believe they’ll be a
good match with the small population still there.
The Hine’s emerald dragonflies, which for decades were believed to be
extinct, were carefully raised at the University of South Dakota over
the past four to five years after eggs were collected from a dragonfly
in southwestern Wisconsin. Three out of the 20 dragonflies that could be
released have already been freed so far this week at a forest preserve
near Chicago. No more than 320 of the insects remain in Illinois…
A big dragonfly that showed up at my porch light last August. Dave Small identified it as some kind of darner (Aeshna sp.), and based on the black s10 abdominal segment (hidden in this photo), probably a male black-tipped darner (Aeshna tuberculifera).
Macro close up (dorsal view) of one of North America’s most common and widespread dragonflies, the Common Green Darner, Anax junius (Odonata - Aeshnidae).
Anax junius is a large insect (6.8 - 8.4 cm length, 9 - 11.4 cm wingspan), with yellowish-green face and large, dark green eyes, which meet on the top of the head. Both the male and female have a distinctive “bull’s-eye” mark on the top of the forehead, consisting of a black or brown spot ringed with blue and yellow. The abdomen is blue.
The Common green darner is widespread across North America, occurring in Alaska and southern Canada, throughout the United States, and south to Mexico, as well as sometimes further south in Central America. It is also found on Bermuda and in the Caribbean.
This migratory species has also occasionally been recorded outside of its normal range, in Hawaii, northeast Asia, the United Kingdom and France.
“The Eastern Pondhawk (Erythemis simplicicollis), also known as the Common Pondhawk, is a dragonfly of the family Libellulidae, native to the eastern two-thirds of the United States and southern Ontario and Quebec, Canada. The species is distinguished in that the female is bright green and the adult male has a blue abdomen with a green face and green and blue thorax.” Wikipedia (Erythemis simplicicollis) | CC BY-SA 3.0
Explanation of Names CALOPTERYX: from the Greek “kalos” (beautiful) + “pteron” (wing or feather)
MACULATA: from the Latin “macula” (a spot) - a reference to the white spot near the tip of the female’s wing -Numbers One of five Nearctic species in the genus.
Size body length 37-57 mm
of immature adults light to dark brownish; wings of mature adult males
solid black; wings of females dark gray, shading to almost black
apically, and with a conspicuous white spot at tip; male body metallic
green or bluish; female body dark grayish or black.
Range eastern two-thirds of US and eastern half of Canada
wooded slow-moving streams and small rivers; nymphs develop in water;
adults often perch on low shrubbery in sun-lit openings in forest canopy
Season adults March to October in the south; May to July/August in the north
Food nymphs and adults prey on small insects and other arthropods
a strong flier: adults flutter, butterfly-like, a short distance when
disturbed. They are easy to get close to as long as you approach slowly
and don’t make any sudden movements. Ebony Jewelwings prefer sunny spots
in the woods but usually perch only a minute or two before flitting to
another nearby spot.
It’s easy to identify an ebony jewelwing(Calopteryx maculata) because no other northeastern damselfly has all-black wings. This is a male, and he’s guarding a territory and looking for mates. If a female comes by, she’ll signal her opinion of him using her wings: spread wings mean “Nope” and a wing flip means “Hey, hot stuff”.