A Flamin' Dragonfly

May 25, 2010

Dragonflies occasionally hang around our fish pond to catch flying insects, such as flies and mosquitoes.

Last weekend a gorgeous flame skimmer swooped down in our garden--a few yards from our fish pond--and landed on a bamboo stake.

She absolutely glowed in the late afternoon sun.

Soon she lifted off to catch insects. Would she return? She did. She repeatedly left her perch to nail more insects.  

Lynn Kimsey, director of the Bohart Museum of Entomology at UC Davis and professor and vice chair of the UC Davis Department of Entomology, identified it as a female Libellula saturata. Order: Odonata. Suborder: Epiprocta. Family: Libellulidae.

The Bohart Museum contains some seven million insect specimens.

The flame skimmer is there, too. It's also on a dragonfly poster that the Bohart offers for sale in its gift shop or online.  

By Kathy Keatley Garvey
Author - Communications specialist

Attached Images:

FLAME SKIMMER lands on a bamboo stake in a vegetable garden.  (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Flame Skimmer

FLAME SKIMMER perches on a bamboo stake, ready to lift off again to catch flying insects. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Up Close

HERE'S LOOKING AT YOU--Dragonfly eyes contain some 30,000 individual lenses. They are equipped with a 360-degree field of vision. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Dragonfly Head