Monday, September 06, 2010

Widow Skimmers

Widow Skimmers (Libellula luctuosa) are one of my favorite dragonflies, so I was happy to see some active at Fairview Farm yesterday morning. Most of the ones I saw were flying around the edge of a small field. A lot of them, like the male above, were rather worn.

There seemed to be more females than males in this corner of the field. The wear patterns turned out to be useful for telling them apart. The individual above has a long chunk gone from the right hindwing.

Meanwhile, this one seems to have most of its right hindwing, but it is missing a piece near the base of the left hindwing. Dragonflies are able to keep flying even with quite large pieces of their wings missing as long as the overall structure is intact. These dragonflies seemed not to be bothered by the missing pieces.