theadanews.com - Ada, Oklahoma

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August 4, 2013

Randy's Natural World

Ada —

Many people know very little about this week’s feature creature, but should. The great blue skimmer, a dragonfly, is very beneficial (all dragonflies are) because of what it eats — the blood-sucking mosquito. I am grateful for this. I really do not like mosquitos, but they love me. The great blue skimmer is born in water and lives most of its life as a nymph underwater. As a nymph it eats a lot of mosquito larvae — another bonus. As an adult, which fly from May to September, as well as mosquitos, it also eats bees, flies, ants and other small insects.

The great blue skimmer male is powder blue with very blue eyes. The female is similar, but its body is mottled with reddish-brown on its body. Both have dark outlining on the tips of the wings. The great blue skimmer in the photo above is a male. They are very fast and can fly as fast as a race horse can run. They stay close to sources of water such as creeks, ponds and lakes.

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