Skip to content

Dragonflies have such delightful common names.

If you have ever seen dragonflies flying over a pond, you know why many have the common name "skimmer."

flame-skimmerTake the flame skimmer, so called because the mature males have a orange to red head and abdomen. This newly-emerged male hasn't developed his full coloration yet.

roseate-skimmer-back-closeThe male roseate skimmer has a magenta or purplish hue.

dragonfly-on-redbird

Other dragonflies named for their colors include the Mexican amberwings, which are smaller than flame skimmers.

The name darner seems appropriate, given their long, slender body.

green-darner-dragonfly(Public domain photo courtesy of PDPhoto.org.)

Take this common and widespread species, the green darner.

Here's a list of other whimsical dragonfly names:

  • pondhawk
  • meadowhawk
  • dasher
  • glider

How about the black-winged dragonlet at the Arizona Dragonflies website?

What is the name of your favorite dragonfly?

_______________
Want to learn more? Consider picking up a field guide, such as Stokes Beginner's Guide to Dragonflies

Disclosure:  I am an affiliate with Amazon so I can provide you with cover images and links to more information about books and products. As you probably are aware, if you click through the highlighted title link or cover image and purchase a product, I will receive a very small commission at no extra cost to you. Any proceeds help defray the costs of hosting and maintaining this website.

2

Two years ago I caught a Mexican Amberwing dragonfly hovering over the water. I have wanted to get a photograph of one sitting still ever since.

amberwing-dragonfly-two

I finally had a chance. It was perching at the top of a red bird of paradise.

It is a pretty small dragonfly, although there isn't much here to give it scale.

Dragonflies are interesting because they vary a lot in color. Some amberwings have completely brown-gold wings whereas others have patches in clear wings like this one. Makes dragonfly identification quite tricky at times.

Arizona Dragonflies has a lovely series of photographs of Mexican amberwing dragonflies that show the variation in wing color.

It always amazes me to see dragonflies flying miles from water in the desert. It just goes to show how strong fliers they are.

This one was perching and then catching flying insects as they flew by.

Have you spotted any dragonflies this week?

I had a lot of interesting bugs to choose from this week.

The winner was this tiny, orange-winged dragonfly. It is only about an inch long.

It is a Mexican amberwing, Perithemis intensa.

This one was hovering in the air and then darting away.

It was hovering over a manmade waterfall.

Maybe someday soon I'll get to go back and get a photograph of one sitting still.

Do you have amberwings where you live?