Keeled Skimmer

Keeled Skimmer, Orthetrum coerulescens, photo Tom Krubl

Last week another Keeled Skimmer buzzing frantically against the big closed window, bashing itself recklessly against the invisible glass. Hand-caught to take outside into the sunshine.


Once there, hands open. But the dragonfly did not want to leave. It decided to spend a bit of time on this strange 5 petalled pink flower in the sun to recover from the trauma. Thanks to Tom Krubl for these pics, sinceI had my hands full at the time.

photo Tom Krubl

This is an immature male – that dusty blue colour on his backend will soon envelope the whole abdomen and he will be fully matured and ready to find a mate.

Look how complex the membranes of the wings are. That darkened membrane window at the tip of each wing, which is yellow or pale brown in this species, is an i.d. clue. This wing section is called the pterostigma and is often coloured and heavier than other cells in the wing. It helps with gliding – one tiny element in the incredibly complex features allowing these insects such extraordinary powers of flight. As we reminded this youngster, sitting still, doing nothing. Eventually a bit of gentle prodding persuaded him.


and he was out of sight.


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Grass Hopper

Born near the sea on the east side, grew near the sea on the west side; more than 15 years down here in the south, hoping about between the mountains and the Med. Madly in love with the Natural world!

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