Wild Iris With Four-Spotted Skimmer

You may enlarge any image in this blog by clicking on it. Click again for a full screen image.

I thought that I was through with posting about Alaska but I have one more image that I want to display.  Aside from being a pretty picture, there’s actually a link between this image and Arizona. The insect depicted in the photo, a Four-Spotted Skimmer, has an enormous range that extends from northern Arizona all the way up to and including substantial parts of Alaska.

I took this picture in a swampy area adjacent to the parking lot behind the hotel that I stayed at in Anchorage for a night before departing to visit the bears.  I was taking a walk and I noticed that the low lying and waterlogged land near the parking lot was dotted with wild Irises.  I stopped to take a closer look, saw the dragonfly, and made this image.

I originally assumed that the Four-spotted Skimmer displayed in the image was some sort of Alaskan or at least Pacific Northwest species.  I was very surprised to discover that these insects also reside in parts of Arizona, specifically, the higher elevations in the northern part of our state.  So, there’s a connection between what lives here and what I photographed in Alaska.

How could an insect like this have such an enormous range — one that extends for thousands of miles?  I’m guessing that the species may have evolved during an era when cooler and relatively damp conditions prevailed over a huge part of the West, allowing a species that evolved to take advantage of those conditions to proliferate and spread.  Today’s much warmer climate nonetheless leaves remnants of an earlier ecosystem that the Four-spotted Skimmer continues to populate.

Image made with a Canon 5Div, 100-400 ISII zoom lens, aperture priority setting, ISO 500, f13 @ 1/640.

2 responses to “Wild Iris With Four-Spotted Skimmer”

  1. Sue says :


  2. tkiiatmindspringcom says :

    Beautiful image Steve!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.