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Libellula croceipennis - male

Libellula croceipennis - Male
Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden, Claremont, Los Angeles County, California, USA
July 16, 2005
Size: ~50mm
I presume this to be a male Red Skimmer (L. saturata).

Now that I'm looking at this image after some time, I'm having second thoughts. I don't think this guy has enough color on the wing to be L. saturata (the amber color in this specimen does not extend beyond the nodus - it doesn't even seem to reach that thickened cross vein on the leading wing edge); also, it is rather brilliant red, not brick red. Thus, moving to Neon, L. croceipennis.

However, I challenge anyone to point to some character that might make this specimen a 'Flame'.

Moved from Flame Skimmer.

Nice catch, Hartmut
sorry to have misidentified this for you. We certainly agree with your correction. What do you think about Ron's 82785?

Granted, they're not always easy -
I don't think there's enough visible in Ron's photo, though abdominal color looks on the side of Neon. However, this can be deceiving; I've seen very red male Flame Skimmers. Thanks for the confidence, but since the wings don't show clearly I have to pass on this one.

We would agree - L. saturata
but have seen the common name of this species as Flame Skimmer

L. saturata
Thanks for checking the ID, John and Jane.
Common names seem to vary with the region, and as you know are not subject to the rules of the Linnean nomenclature.
'Big Red Skimmer' is used for this species by Charles Hogue (Insects of the Los Angeles Basin). I've seen 'Red Skimmer' used for this species on some websites as well as in a reference I can't find right now (or perhaps I'm mistaken and only saw it on the internet). Have seen 'Firecracker Skimmer' in NM, CO. Looking around just now it seems that 'Flame Skimmer' is the most widely used common name for this insect.
But thanks for drawing my attention to the subject.

Yes, common names are quite variable
and we actually like it that way. What people call things in different parts of the country and from different backgrounds is always interesting.
By the way, we see you created your own little icon for male. In case you didn't find it yet, if you click on the box that says male or female at the bottom of the page where you submit the image, those little icons for male or female just pop up. You can edit your submission and click those on or off and see.

your comments are much appreciated.

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