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Species Libellula croceipennis - Neon Skimmer

Neon Skimmer  laying eggs - Libellula croceipennis - female Flame Skimmer? - Libellula croceipennis - male Neon Skimmer - Libellula croceipennis - male Red Dragonfly? - Libellula croceipennis Neon Skimmer - Libellula croceipennis Neon Skimmer - Libellula croceipennis Red Dragonfly - Libellula croceipennis - male Libellula croceipennis
Classification
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Odonata (Dragonflies and Damselflies)
Suborder Anisoptera (Dragonflies)
Family Libellulidae (Skimmers)
Genus Libellula
Species croceipennis (Neon Skimmer)
Explanation of Names
Libellula croceipennis Selys 1868
Size
Length 54-59 mm
Identification
Similar to Flame Skimmer, but thorax and abdomen bright red, wings not as broadly amber/brown streaked. (Amber wash on wings does not extend beyond the nodus)

L. saturata - Flame skimmer: males bright orange with amber color in the wings covering half the width of the wing, out to the nodus, and all the way to the rear of the hind wing. Females paler but still with some amber at least on the leading edge of the wing. See
and females

L. croceipennis - Neon Skimmer: males bright red with amber wing color only covering a quarter of the wing, halfway to the nodus, and not all the way back to the rear edge of the hind wing. Female paler and with essentially clear wings. See
and female
Range
sw US: CA-LA, OK (BG data) - see partial range map
Habitat
Slow streams, ponds. Neon Skimmers prefer shaded moving water when there's a choice of sites, but males will defend ponds as well. Males are typically found near water, defending territory vigorously early in the season, and perching more often later. Females appear at water to lay eggs. Perching sites for males include bushes, trees (both overhanging water, and near water), and strong emergent vegetation; perching height is usually one to five feet above water, most commonly 1-3 feet. They will perch on horizontal, slanted, or vertical twigs/branches/stems.
Season
April-November
Life Cycle
Females lay eggs in standing or slow-moving water by dipping the tip of the abdomen and "scooping" drops of water, with eggs, onto algal mats or emergent or streamside vegetation. Females are not clasped by males during egglaying, which typically takes place in midday (late morning through early afternoon.)
Remarks
Compared to other red dragonflies in the area, male Neon Skimmers are larger and "glow" in the sun...they are aptly named "Neon." The females are golden-colored in sunlight, especially when laying eggs, but may look duller tan on cloudy days or in shade. Very strong flyers, relatively bold and easy to photograph.
Print References
Dunkle, pp. 181-182, plate 32 (1)
Abbott, pp. 269-270, photos 54f, 55a (2)
Works Cited
1.Dragonflies Through Binoculars: A Field Guide to Dragonflies of North America
Sidney W. Dunkle. 2000. Oxford Press.
2.Dragonflies and Damselflies of Texas and the South-Central United States
John C. Abbott. 2005. Princeton University Press.