<< Previous Next >>

Female Widow Skimmer

Female Widow Skimmer
Photo Information
Copyright: Ken Slade (Ken52) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 636 W: 93 N: 1243] (4195)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-07-02
Categories: Insects
Camera: Canon 350D (Digital Rebel XT), Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM, 58mm circular polarizer
Exposure: f/8, 1/320 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Dragonflies of the World, annick vanderschelden's favourites [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2008-07-16 15:34
Viewed: 4185
Points: 32
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
I decided to share this female Widow Skimmer because I like the angles and the pose with head turned.

Widow Skimmer (Libellula luctuosa)

Size: Total length: 38-50 mm; abdomen: 24-32 mm; hindwing: 33-41 mm.

Distribution: Widespread throughout US. and southeastern Canada; absent from Great Plains.

Identification: Its face is pale yellow or brown in females and young males, but darkens to black along with the top of the head in mature males. The pterothorax is dark brown with a pale yellow middorsal stripe that extends onto the prothorax. This area becomes obscured with brown color in females and black in mature males, ultimately turning powder blue. The sides are pale yellow with an ill-defined dark stripe on the third lateral suture. This area becomes obscured in females and turns a dark brassy brown in older males. There are large black bands on the wings that extend basally to the nodus in both sexes. The wingtips are occasionally darkened, especially in females and western-individuals. Mature males develop a white area beyond the basal dark stripe that extends to the wing apex. The legs are black. The abdomen is only moderately depressed and tapers rearward. It is pale yellow with broad black middorsal and lateral stripes. The yellow is interrupted only by a black carinae. Segment 8 in females is slightly expanded laterally. The caudal appendages are black. The color of the abdomen darkens in both sexes and becomes powder pruinose blue in males.

Similar Species: No other skimmer has broad wing bands in both the fore- and hindwings.

Habitat: Still bodies of water, including marshy ponds, lakes and borrow pits

Discussion: This widespread species is found nearly everywhere in the North America except along the gulf of the southeastern United States and the Great Basin. It is an active flier around nearly any still body of water, creeks or stream, where males may be seen regularly combating over territories. Females rhythmically dip their abdomens to the water while flying just above the surface, and unaccompanied, but occasionally guarded by the male.

Source: http://odonatacentral.bfl.utexas.edu/fieldguide/species.asp?TaxaID=230

Aperture = f8.0
Shutter = 1/320s
ISO = 200
Focal Length = 250mm
Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM lens

Amadeo, jaycee, tuslaw, rcrick, Heaven, maurydv, Luis52, Alex99, vanderschelden has marked this note useful
Only registered TrekNature members may rate photo notes.
Add Critique [Critiquing Guidelines] 
Only registered TrekNature members may write critiques.
You must be logged in to start a discussion.

Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • Amadeo Gold Star Critiquer [C: 168 W: 0 N: 755] (3323)
  • [2008-07-16 15:43]

Hola Ken, excelente fotografia.
Se observa buena definición y detalles.
Quiza el posadero comparte atractivo con el motivo.
Excelente exposición y buen fondo, uniforme y con suavidad de tonos de color. Un saludo

  • Great 
  • tuslaw Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2752 W: 280 N: 4931] (19883)
  • [2008-07-16 20:18]

Great shot Ken,
I see your using the exact same camera and lens that I have.
Very sharp image, fine detail and beautiful colours. I like the composition of this shot, and especially the clean BG. Very well done!! Good notes, very informative.

Hi Ken,

What an amazing shot you've captured here, the detail is just stunning, wonderful colours, composition is perfect, really stands out well against that muted background, very impressive gallery to, all the best,

Cheers Rick :)

  • Great 
  • Heaven Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 996 W: 123 N: 2341] (7912)
  • [2008-07-16 21:52]

Hi Ken!

It was a good idea to share this magnificent picture with us, I appreciate it very much. Indeed, the pose of the insect is amazing and you have very well managed the lighting and the sharpness. The compsoition with the two diagonals is superb, too.

Kind regards


How fortunate that you were able to get your dragonfly against such a neutral background. It really sets it off nicely. It's a really sharp image.

Evelynn : )

Bellissima composizione macro di libellula con una posa classica, stupendo OOF BG, ottima definizione dei dettagli. Grazie e complimenti. Ciao Maurizio

  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2008-07-17 7:42]

Hi Ken,

Working backwards I came to Fatih's amazing post and then yours. Not often do we see two beauties like this side by side. The colors, pose, details, background of this are stunning. I, too, love the turned face and the wonderful angle created with the branch. A beautiful skimmer and a beautiful picture.


  • Great 
  • Luis52 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1175 W: 8 N: 4240] (15809)
  • [2008-07-17 9:47]

Hola Ken.
Hermosa la foto. Gran claridad y nitidez. Bello fondo y muy buen valance de luz.
Saludos Ken.

  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2008-07-17 10:13]

Hi Ken.
Once more amazing dragonfly shot from you. I like it a lot. You have wonderful species of the insect. During two years I have not met any dragonfly in my place and only this summer I have captured few of them. However O meet only one rather simply species. Yours is amazing, pictured scene is simple and fine at the same time. Quality of the shot is outstanding. Bravo.

  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2008-07-18 1:34]

Hi Ken. great side view in this one. with a good pose on the twig. the eye catches the light. with fine detail and colour. it stands out well from the BG.
well done TFS.

  • Great 
  • lise Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor [C: 169 W: 48 N: 548] (2877)
  • [2008-07-18 14:52]

Hi Ken,
This is such a wonderful picture!!
I like the fact that the background is plain, it makes the subject really stand out. Amazing sharpness and details, lovely natural colours.
Very well done

  • Great 
  • arfer Gold Star Critiquer [C: 2731 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2008-07-18 19:32]

Hello Ken

A well composed image.The diagonal branch looks great.
I really like the colours.
The focus is spot on.
Excellent pov and dof.


hello ken,
excellent capture, shooting the skimmers is difficult but you managed well here, the monotonus bg offers good contrast, sharp image with good details, nice composition,
tfs & regards

Wow...!!! I never managed to take such a great macro! This is wonderful! Details, exposure, colors and composition are very inspiring. I feel like being in direct contact with this beautiful creature. TFS,

  • Great 
  • foozi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2791 W: 0 N: 6696] (25839)
  • [2008-07-27 20:53]

Hello Ken,
a real clear and clean shot of this beautiful creature.Excellent pestel rendition and matches well with the colour of the creature.
Great background and lovely composition.


Hi Ken,
And this is a wow. Technically superb.
The composition, the perch, POV, DOF and so forth are all well done.
Thanks for sharing

Calibration Check