Male Eight-spotted Skimmers at Farmington Bay

Eight-spotted Skimmer on a cattail stalkEight-spotted Skimmer on a cattail stalk – Nikon D810, f11, 1/640, ISO 400, -0.7 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

Long before birds became my primary subjects I photographed lots of bees, butterflies and other bugs including dragonflies and when ever I am out in the field I still notice them and when I can I aim my lens and focus on them.

A few days ago I discovered several male Eight-spotted Skimmers close to the edge of Glover Pond at Farmington Bay and was delighted to photograph these beautifully patterned Odonata.

Eight-spotted Skimmer maleEight-spotted Skimmer male – Nikon D810, f11, 1/500, ISO 400, -0.3 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

While I photographed these male Eight-spotted Skimmers I did see a female but unfortunately she had grasses in front of her and my view of her was obstructed.

Male Eight-spotted SkimmerMale Eight-spotted Skimmer – Nikon D810, f11, 1/1000, ISO 400, -0.3 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

Fossils of dragonflies have been found with wingspans of two feet, I can only imagine what it would have been like to see them in flight, on the wing and chasing after prey.

These male Eight-spotted Skimmers hung around at the edge of Glover Pond perching on cattails and hawking insects from the air. I love dragonflies because they are beautiful, fascinating and most of all, they eat the bugs that bite me. Dragonflies can eat hundreds of mosquitoes per day and each one they eat is one less pest that might try to suck the blood out of me!

Life is good.



  1. Mia McPherson August 14, 2016 at 5:00 am

    Thank you all for your comments on my Eight-spotted Skimmer images.

  2. Elephant's Child August 13, 2016 at 1:58 pm

    A wing-span of two feet? I would love to see that – except that I shudder at the size the ‘squitos of the day reached.
    A gorgeous series today. Thank you.

  3. Pepe Forte August 13, 2016 at 11:33 am

    Well Mia, once again I am amazed by the stunning clarity and detail of your work.
    But I do have to agree with Ms. Cormacks note…I also thought that an “eight spotted skimmer” was a bird! Thanks for some new knowledge. Looking forward to your next post…

  4. Patty Chadwick August 13, 2016 at 11:10 am

    I love these images! Thanks for providing them !!!

  5. Ilze Long August 13, 2016 at 8:04 am

    and I love to see them fly, they are the insect raptors of the sky

  6. Neil Rossmiller August 13, 2016 at 7:59 am

    Do they count the black area as spots or the white area?

    • Mia McPherson August 13, 2016 at 8:07 am

      The black Neil, the white areas aren’t always as strong as my images show.

  7. Bob McPherson August 13, 2016 at 7:03 am

    Beautiful photos, Mia. Dragonflies are very interesting.

  8. Liz Cormack August 13, 2016 at 6:36 am

    I’m laughing at myself because I was thinking that an “eight-spotted skimmer” was a bird that I had never heard of. I love dragonflies as well as their wings so delicate & their markings are so intricate.

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