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Neon skimmer (Libellula croceipennis)        Images © Mark A. Chappell

This dragonfly closely resembles the flame skimmer, but has more reddish thorax and less amber tinting on the base of the wings.   Like most dragonflies, they are are highly alert (but sometimes 'friendly' as shown below) and have excellent vision with huge, intricately faceted eyes.   A picture of a mating pair shows the slightly duller colors of the female, and also the typical dragonfly behavior of males attaching themselves to females, presumably to guard them from mating attempts by rival males.   He uses the pinchers at the tip of his abdomen to grasp the female's 'neck'.   I got these pictures around my small backyard ponds in Riverside, California.

  • Canon 10D or 7D; Canon 70-200 F4 IS with extension tubes, or Canon 100 mm macro lens plus 1.4X converter or 150 mm Sigma macro, ringflash (2003, 2013, 2015)