I found this mature male Ground Skimmer dragonfly on the ground basking in the evening sun. This dragonfly usually perches on the ground and rarely flies above one meter from the ground. They are also extremely skittish and will often fly away at the slightest movement. I was using my Canon EOS 5D Mark III with Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS USM fitted with Canon EF 1.4x III Extender. This gave me a sufficient distance to approach him without disturbing his stalking. I also found several other mature males nearby trying to stake out their territory.
In the world of Dragonflies and Damselflies, more often than not, the males are more colorful and brighter than the females. many a times, the females are of a paler, duller coloring than the males. Ground Skimmer males change color as they become mature so that they can attract females. Once he has developed the full bluish colors of a mature male, he can stake out his territory and lie in wait for the female, which is what this guy here is doing.
Ground Skimmer (Diplacodes trivialis) are a small greenish yellow or blue dragonflies with black markings. The male starts off greenish yellow and looks identical to the female. As the male gets older its body gets covered with fine blue pruinescence and gets blue eyes. The abdomen is thin with the last three segments black. The anal appendages are white. In old individuals all markings are obscured by fine blue pruinescence. Immature males have the same coloration as females or have mixed green bluish color.
The female has pale greenish yellow markings on its black body. Its eyes are brown on top and yellow below. Thorax is greenish yellow or olivaceous. Legs are greenish yellow marked with black. Wings are transparent. Wing spot is dark grey to black. The segments 1-7 of the abdomen is greenish yellow with middorsal and subdorsal black stripes. Remaining segments black.
It is easy species to identify and they like to stick closely to the ground, making photography difficult. It is one of the commonest dragonflies in gardens, fields, playgrounds, etc. It breeds in muddy puddles, tanks and pond edges. Flies Throughout the year. It is a widespread species, occurring from India to China and Japan and southwards to New Guinea and Australia.
EXIF info – Aperture : ƒ/4 | Camera : Canon EOS 5D Mark III | Taken : 27 May, 2012 | Flash fired : no | Focal length : 420mm | ISO : 200 | Location : 12° 55.3528′ 0″ N 74° 51.9778′ 0″ E | Shutter speed : 1/500s | Images and content Copyright © Krishna Mohan. Please contact me to purchase prints or for image publication license.