Excerpts from Jim Conrad's
Naturalist Newsletter


from the November 28, 2010 Newsletter issued from Hacienda Chichen Resort beside Chichén Itzá Ruins, central Yucatán, MÉXICO

With the dry season's arrival, I've put in front of the hut a black plastic trough about three by two feet along its sides and half a foot deep, placed a big limestone rock in its center, and filled the trough with water. The very first and most frequently returning critter to visit was the dragonfly shown above.

In that picture notice the black trough right below. In dry-season Yucatan where the only standing water is in sinkhole, or cenote, bottoms, this dragonfly is very attached to the little pond!

Bea and I together pegged this as the Carmine Skimmer, ORTHEMIS DISCOLOR, a very widely distributed species occurring from Texas and the Caribbean all the way south to Uruguay in South America. Apparently in the US there's a similar species, the Roseate Skimmer, Orthemis ferruginea, from which we distinguished it by minor differences in the wing venation. In dragonfly identification, wing venation is the thing.