122. Small Skimmer – Orthetrum taeniolatum – European Dragonfly photo
The Small Skimmer ( Orthetrum taeniolatum ) is the smallest member of its family but the all-blue males need careful scrutiny where it appears with other Orthetrum species, particularly the Keeled Skimmer – Orthetrum coerulescens. The island of Lesvos in the Aegean is about the most westerly edge of its range which extends as far east as India.
KEY I/D FEATURES :
The males somewhat shorter and more slender tapering abdomen is not obvious. At close range the colour and pattern of the sides of the thorax and the colour of the top of the eyes are key features to look for. A black line runs down the front side of the thorax followed by two creamy stripes. The upper part of the eyes are brown and the pterostigma are yellow.
Females are noticeable in having a strong black line running down the centre of the top of the abdomen.