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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?

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

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Last week the weather was lovely and we went for a little hike. We noticed some midges hovering in a cluster over the trail and then we noticed dragonflies hunting the midges.

roseate-skimmer-back-close

The air was suddenly filled with roseate skimmer dragonflies, Orthemis ferruginea.

roseate-skinmmer-front-view

Unfortunately the photographs  just don't show the amazing color they were. Imagine a shimmering purple to magenta.

Theses are males, based on color. The females are brown. Arizona Dragonflies has more photographs.

Roseate skimmers are found throughout North America and even into northern South America.

Have you ever seen one?