Lovely Neon Skimmer

After work on Thursday it was nice outside so Sergeant Margie and I went over to the WPA Rock Garden for a walk, and we were lucky enough to come across this gorgeous female Neon Skimmer dragonfly (Libellula croceipennis).  I love her white “racing stripe”.  [[And a thank you to the folks at Bug  Guide and Kathy Biggs’ “Common Dragonflies of California” pocket guide for the positive ID.]]  Her somewhat stocky body is known as a “sprawler form”.  When they’re nymphs, these dragonflies sit at the bottom of ponds, under the gunk that collects there, and catch and eat whatever happens to come by them — including tadpoles, other insect larvae, and fry.  The adults will eat a variety of soft-bodied insects including mosquitoes, flies and butterflies.  When the female lays her eggs, she  hovers along the surface of the pond (or other semi-still body of water) and dips her abdomen into the water to release the eggs.  I just love these things… they’re so… “ancient” looking.