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Elfin Skimmer

Elfin Skimmer

genus: Nannothemis

Elfin Skimmer

This is the only species in its genus in North America.  It is our smallest dragonfly in North America averaging approximately one inch in length.  In mature males, the thorax and abdomen are black, becoming a powdery blue when mature.  Abdomen is slightly enlarged at the tip.  The wings are clear and when seen perched are positioned down and forward.  Eyes are rusty brown.

Females (shown left) have a brown and yellow striped thorax and black abdomen with yellow bands and is said to resemble a wasp.  The wing bases show a faded amber patch.  Their face is white on top and on the sides, elsewhere black.

Female Elfin Skimmers are similar in appearance to no other dragonflies and can be easily identified in the field by size and color alone.

These skimmers inhabit bogs,fens, sedges, and meadows with high calcium rich waters.  They may be difficult to spot hence there small size.  They prefer to fly among grasses and weeds perching often  almost undetectable.

© 2018 Sheryl Chacon Search