Sooo I wrote recently about wanting to improve my dragonfly skillz. Since then I’ve photographed and identified three more species, and I decided that since I really want to be able to recognize dragonfly families more readily, I should organize the photos I have into folders based on that.
In doing this and seeing how the different species fit together, I realized that I actually know a couple of the families a bit better than I thought I did. I still may not be the most qualified person to write this, but I can’t be the only person who thinks it would be useful to have some basic grasp of dragonfly taxonomy, so this post will the first of a (mumble)-part series… Know Your Dragonflies!
Know Your Dragonflies Part 1: Family Libellulidae, The Skimmers
Libellulidae is the biggest, most diverse family of dragonflies, containing 1000+ species worldwide. While there are always exceptions and variations, they tend to have relatively stout, thick abdomens (the “tail” section of the body, as opposed to the thorax, the “main” section with the wings), and many of them have colored spots or patches on the wings. Here are some of the skimmers that I’ve photographed so far.
Have you noticed any dragonflies with spots on their wings lately? What skimmer species are common where you live? I guarantee there’s one or two!