Friday, November 9, 2012

The Foot High Club

A few years ago this coupling couple of Carmine Skimmers (Orthemis discolor) were flying low over a ditch in Cahuita, Costa Rica. Odonates frequently fly while copulating—they do it all the time, actually—but this was the only instance that I managed to photograph (and end up with something other than an unidentifiable blur). In case you were wondering, the Carmine Skimmer is not a species any reasonable odonatist can expect to see in the Pacific Northwest. Not yet...

Like some other members of the skimmer family (Libellulidae) the Orthemis copulate only briefly and only while airborne, and I was fortunate that this pair hovered momentarily in front of me while my camera was at the ready. Copulating odonates fly very well, and I’m sure their unique mating configuration has a lot to do with that. They are both facing the same direction, after all.


  1. Ha ha! Foot high club... Love it!

  2. Lends a whole new meaning to 'Fly United'. Great shot!