You can see dragonflies make sharp stops and turns, and then stop again and hover for a while. They have to make the most of their flying time as some adults live for only a few weeks. Dragonflies are insects and they have unequal wings, the wings closest to the head are often shorter and narrower. There are super-sized dragonflies that can cover your face, but most dragonflies are 1 to 4 inches in length.
Skimmers belong to the family Libellulidae. You see dragonflies of the family all over the world, and this is the type of dragonfly that you are most likely to find. Many of the dragonflies belonging to this family are brightly colored, and some of them are red, orange and pink.
The variegated meadowhawk (Sympetrum corruptum) is a type of skimmer. They are small to medium-sized dragonflies and their abdomens are around 1 5/8 to 1 11/12 inches long. Often the males have bright red abdomens, and the edges of the wings are marked with pink. The thorax or the part of the dragonfly that comes of the head part is marked with a pair of yellow dots on each side. Mature males have a black dorsal strip running down their abdomens. Females and juveniles males have pale yellowish-brown thoraxes with white shoulder stripes and white areas between the two wings. Their abdomens are also yellow with black dorsal stripes. Each hind-wing has a small faint basal spot to it. This bug displays iridescent red coloring. The scarlet skimmer can frequently been seen perching frequently on vegetation and flying over lakes, ditches, canals and slow-moving streams.
A dragonfly with red face could be a male red-veined meadowhawk (Sympetrum madidum). Males have red bodies and the wing veins becomes red as they mature. The female dragonflies have yellow bodies. Both males and females have white thoracic stripes which end in yellow spots. They are found mainly at ponds and lakes, usually resting on vegetation or rocks.
The scarlet darter (Crocothemis erythraea) has several common names such as broad scarlet, common scarlet-darter, scarlet darter and scarlet dragonfly. This is a beautiful dragonfly -- particularly the males. The females are more subdued in their colorings. The males have red bodies and red legs. This species originated from Africa and it can be seen in Europe.
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