Four-Spotted Skimmer Libellula quadrimaculata
Guindon Park, Cornwall, Ontario, Canada
June 17, 2011
Couldn’t resist a trip back to the Dragon Pond at the park this afternoon. Once gain, it was a delight with all types and sizes zooming about hither and yon, with odd one staying hither for a moment or two.
Some other denizens of the pond.
The Chalk Fronted Corporal Ladona Julia
And another with the cool name of Dot Tailed Whiteface Leucorrhina Intacta
With thanks to imnh.isu.edu
This is a medium to large naiad, with a length of 7/8 to 1 1/16 inches (22 to 26 mm). It is orange-brown in color, and the abdomen is rounded, giving it a short, stocky appearance known as the sprawler form. There is a small hook on the top of abdominal segments three through eight, while the hooks on segments five through seven are noticeably larger. There is a small, rear-facing spine on each side of abdominal segment eight and nine.
This is a medium-sized dragonfly with a length of 1 5/8 to 1 13/16 inches (40 to 45 mm). Each wing is clear except for along the leading edge, which is clouded with a transparent yellowish brown. The center of each wing is marked with a small dark spot, also on the leading edge. Additionally, each hindwing is marked with a dark patch near the base. Males and females look alike, generally dark brown. The face and each side of the thorax are marked with patches of greenish yellow, and the sides of the abdomen lined with yellowish orange dashes.
This species is found around the world from Alaska east to Labrador and south to northern California and Texas, and from northern Europe east to Siberia. In Idaho, it is found near lakes, ponds, and marshes throughout the state.
This dragonfly can be found near lakes, ponds, bogs, and marshes.
Adult Flight Season
Early April to mid-August
Naiads feed on a variety of aquatic insects as well as on small fish and tadpoles.
The dragonfly feeds on small flying insects.
The naiad does particularly well in acidic bogs, and lives in the debris on the bottom of lakes, ponds, bogs, and marshes. They do not actively pursue prey but wait for it to pass by, a strategy which affords them protection from other predators. Naiads emerge as adults at night.
Adults generally fly from early April to mid-August. Hunting occurs from perches on twigs or rocks. This is the only Libellula species in our area in which the males do not become pruinose. Although it does not regularly migrate in North America, this species has been known to migrate in Europe, generally in 10 to 15-year cycles. The direction of the migration varies, and the migrations are thought to be triggered by a trematode parasite (it is known that several types of parasites can cause unusual behaviors in their hosts that promote the dispersal of the parasite). This species has also been known to form large swarms in Europe, often covering 100 square miles (roughly 300 square km).
After males and females mate, the female flies singly, without the male attached, to lay her eggs. She does this by dipping the tip of her abdomen in the water while hovering just above its surface.
Populations are widespread, abundant, and secure.
Sony Alpha 700, Sigma 28 to 300 at 300 mm
iso 100, spot metered, F6.3, 1/125 second