Not preying on widows
June 17, 2016 by Mike Powell
What is a Widow Skimmer? It sounds like a con artist who preys on rich older women, but it actually is a beautifully patterned dragonfly, like this juvenile male that I spotted recently at Huntley Meadows Park.
Why is it called a “widow?” According to bugguide.net, the species name of the Widow Skimmer (Libellula luctuosa) “means sorrowful or mournful, perhaps because the wings of both male and female seem to be draped in mourning crepe.” Only the male has white patches on its wings, so it’spretty easy to identify the dragonfly in the image as a male. Adult males have blue bodies and juvenile males and females have yellow and brown bodies.
Sometimes I wish that the identification of dragonfly species were this easy all of the time, but real life is generally much more complicated.
© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.