Red Flame Skimmer ( 60 A )
These skimmers like to patrol ponds or hang out near stagnant or slow moving meadowy creeks. Their normal habit is to hang out over ponds perched on top of a twig or a reed. They typically fly out looking for a fat bug to eat but usually return to the same twig. We can tell this is a male because of the bright red color and the narrowing of the last few abdomen segments. The females are a bit duller in color and have a broader abdomen that does not taper to a point.
Dragonflies are among the oldest flying animals, developing flight over 300 million years ago, long before the dinosaurs, birds, or mammals existed. Their basic body design was so good that it hasn’t changed in all that time except that some of the earliest fossils had 29 inch wingspans (Wow). Dragonflies are amazing hunters.. They have been clocked as the fastest insects, flying at over 35 miles/hour. They have amazing vision, seeing almost 360 degrees. Each compound eye is made up of 20,000 separate facets in which each sees a complete image ( how do we know this is so?). (Mouse over this image to see that their head is mostly just their eyes.) Yet they are easy to sneak up on – if you go slow. Their eyes are designed to see movement and a slow moving photographer is pretty much invisible to them. If you scare it off, have a little patience and it will probably return to the same twig soon. But, if you are a flying bug – beware.
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