Purple skimmer


This spectacular dragon fly is uncommon where it occurs in Florida. Like all dragonflies, the immature stages live in aquatic environments.  They are only found in clear, sand bottomed lakes.  The nymphs are predaceous and feed on most any organism they can catch, even small fish or tadpoles.  Members of this particular group of dragonflies are called skimmers.  Females can be observed dipping the end of their abdomen into the water while they release their eggs.  Dragonflies are noted for their brilliant colors and aerial agility.  They have large eyes that are sensitive to movement that enable them to catch smaller insects while in flight.  The fastest speed on record for a dragonfly is 38 kilometers an hour.  (Photo by Sid Dunkle)


Purple skimmer Libellula  jesseana Williamson (Family: Libellulidae)

Habitat: Lakes and ponds

Florida range: Central and western counties in Florida

Larval host plants: Wild Mustards (Brassica species); Pepper Grass (Lepidium virginicum); Saltwort (Batis maritima); Sea Rocket (Cakile lanceolata)

Flight: Late spring through fall

Occurrence: Rare, considered vulnerable where it is found

Link for more information:  http://www.ups.edu/biology/museum/UPSdragonflies.html





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