Elfin Skimmer

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Also known as bluebells, elfin skimmers (Nannothemis bella) are in the family which contains the smallest of the dragonflies. They are so small, averaging three-quarters of an inch long, that they sometimes become trapped in sundew. Elfin skimmers are black and yellow. Males are covered with a powdery coat of frosty blue. The females are mainly yellow in coloring. Both sexes have faces that are white and they both have very slender abdomens. One of their best identifying traits is their clear wings.

Their habitat is stagnant pools in marshy places, such as bogs.  Skimmers are weak flyers and spend most of their time perching on grass stems in the sunshine. When they do fly, it is over low vegetation, sitting frequently on bog plants. They never fly over open water. Females inhabit drier areas, sometimes several hundred feet from the water. Elfin skimmers diet is insects.

Elfin skimmers are endangered in Ohio and can be found at Cedar Bog in Champaign County and Singer Lake Bog Preserve in Summit County. It has also been found along the bog-like edge of Silver Lake in Miami County, but is now thought to be extirpated from that location.

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