I’ve just moved into a new house. While checking out the beautiful gardens in the back yard, I spotted this guy. A nice male Twelve Spotted Skimmer (Libellula pulchella) on a small branch. I also saw a female using the same perch a few minutes later, so I’ll have to post those soon too. The species name pulchella means "beautiful" in latin. I noticed a lot of other insect activity in the gardens, so I’ll have to get back there to take some more pictures.
Look for this species almost anywhere except along fast-moving streams. It is found in all contiguous 48 states and even southern Canada. Lakes, ponds, marshes, and slow streams are all favored habitats. Watch for the male territorial behavior. Males will sit on weed tops, flying out to meet any intruding males. The two males have a stylized contest, in which each tries to fly loop-the-loops around the other. Whichever one succeeds returns to his perch, while the other moves out of the territory.
Sigma 105mm f/2.8 EX DG Macro mounted on a Canon XTi.