Great Blue Skimmer – Libellula vibrans

There’s a Great Blue Skimmer dragonfly, Libellula vibrans, at the bottom of this Virginia garden. It’s a handsome beast:

Great Blue Skimmer - Libellula vibrans - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

I creep a little closer:

Great Blue Skimmer - Libellula vibrans - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

It’s very active and will fly if I move too fast. They are distinctive because no other dragonfly here has blue eyes and a white face. The blue on the body looks like the waxy covering on a plum. It’s called pruinescence, which means ‘hoar-frost’. They have a frosty covering in this summer heat.

Here it is in glorious profile:

Great Blue Skimmer - Libellula vibrans - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

There’s another dragonfly here which I only glimpse briefly. Researching it I find it’s a juvenile Great Blue Skimmer. This is what they look like before they develop their adult colouring:

Great Blue Skimmer dragonfly - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Who would have guessed?

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