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Acrylic on illustration board
10" x 8"
 Dragonflies have persisted on this planet for nearly 300 million years, and within their tenacious order, no group is more successful than the skimmers of the family Libellulidae. Found around still waters worldwide, this group of long-winged and often colorful dragonflies accounts for well over half of all living species. The rubescent Flame Skimmer (Libellula saturata) is common throughout the western U. S. and Mexico. After spending a year creeping along the floor of a pond, capturing insects and small vertebrates with its extensible “lower lip,” the skimmer naiad emerges in late spring to molt out and spend its final couple of months as a winged adult, mating and actively capturing small insects on the wing, such as the Mayfly (family Ephemerellidae) pictured. In the background a Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia) perches among the cattails.