Flame Skimmer Dragonfly
California Range Map Photo
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Adult Male

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Adult Female

 
Taxonomic Hierarchy
Kingdom: Animalia -- animal
Phylum: Arthropoda -- arthropods
Class: hexapoda -- insects

      Subclass:

Pterygota -- iwinged insects
           Infraclass: Palaeoptera-- wing insects
Superorder: Odonatoptera -- ancient winged insects
    Order: Odonata -- Dragonflies and Damselflies
         Suborder: Anisoptera -- Dragonflies
Family: Libellulidae -- Skimmers
Genus: Libellula
Species: Libellula saturata
Description:   Diet:
Naiad-This is a fairly large naiad, with a maximum length of 1 1/8 inches (28 mm). The abdomen is rounded, giving it a short, stocky appearance known as the sprawler form. It is covered with hairs, but has no hooks or spines as do many other naiads.   Naiad-Naiads feed on a wide variety of aquatic insects, such as mosquito larvae, other aquatic fly larvae, mayfly larvae, and freshwater shrimp. They will also eat small fish and tadpoles.
Adult-Male: red-orange eyes, face, thorax, legs, abdomen and appendages; thorax unstriped; wings reddish to slightly beyond nodus, red streak along leading edge, red veins, area near hind wing base darker; wings when at rest held out flat, not downward

Adult-Female: usually paler than males, wings only show an orange streak along the leading wing edges and brown streaks near the base; rarer male-like form exists.

Adult-The dragonfly will eat almost any soft-bodied flying insect including mosquitoes, flies, butterflies, moths, mayflies, and flying ants or termites.
Size:  
medium/large, length 50 - 60 mm, wingspan 85 - 93 mm
Range Information:   Habitat:
This species is found from southwestern Idaho west and south to southern California, throughout the southwestern U.S., and east to Wyoming.   This dragonfly occurs near warm water ponds, warm, slow streams, and hot springs. In the northern part of its range, it almost always occurs near hot springs. Specifically in Idaho, it occurs in low elevation desert in the southwest, and at hot springs in the central and southeast portions of the state.
U. S. Flight Season:   California Flight Period:
Mid-May to early September   February - December
Ecology:   Reproduction:
The naiads live in mud on the bottom of warm ponds, streams, and springs. 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 mid-May to early September. Hunting occurs from perches on twigs and rocks. This dragonfly is very common in the southwestern U.S., and around the Firehole River in Yellowstone National Park because of the hot springs.   Males establish and defend territories at prime breeding locations. 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 shallows of springs and ponds while hovering just above the water's surface.

Conservation:

  Sources :

G1     G2     G3     G4     G5

 
G5 - Populations are widespread, abundant, and secure.  

All photos 2008 Rick Swartzentrover - Free for non-profit use.

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Global ranks indicate the rarity of a species at a global scale. Species may be fairly common globally but imperiled locally. Global ranks have the following meaning:

  • G1 - Critically Imperiled - At very high risk of extinction due to extreme rarity (often 5 or fewer populations), very steep declines, or other factors.
  • G2 - Imperiled - At high risk of extinction due to very restricted range, very few populations (often 20 or fewer), steep declines, or other factors.
  • G3 - Vulnerable - At moderate risk of extinction due to a restricted range, relatively few populations (often 80 or fewer), recent and widespread declines, or other factors.
  • G4 - Apparently Secure - Uncommon but not rare; some cause for long-term concern due to declines or other factors.
  • G5 - Secure - Common; widespread and abundant.
  • * ? or Q = status unknown or uncertain