| Dragonflies & Damselflies of Curacao Mars Muusse - the Netherlands
"Aruban" Skimmer (Orthemis spec).
The Orthemis family is very difficult to identify since there is no consensus about its status.
There are a few readily discernable species but the violet/ purple/ dark red species are not yet fully understood.
On Aruba there may be more than just one species involved, as has been stated by Theo in the Aruba section (click here) although the coloring of eyes, nose, underside of the thorax, abdomen and ptreostigma look homologous on all animals he saw on Aruba.
Provisionally, the individuals seen on Aruba were called "Orthemis arubensis" on this website, until there is more transparancy. Roughly it looks like a cross between O. discolor and O. ferruginae, with characters of both. Dennis Paulson from teh U.S. commented: "... the Orthemis in the ABC islands seem closest to Orthemis sulphurata, described from western Ecuador. The range and validity of that species are by no means certain, but it is possible that it occurs not only in western Ecuador but along the Caribbean coast of South America, including the ABC islands. This is a very difficult genus! The ABC species is definitely not O. discolor or O. ferruginea.
Skimmers which perfectly match the ones seen and described by Theo from Aruba, can be found on Curacao as well. It is a common dragonfly all over the island, near streams, pools, dry Acacia vegetation and also in gardens.
It is never seen in large concentrations on Curacao, although males can keep rather small territories, as was already noticed by Theo on Aruba. However, several 10's were recorded daily in March 2009.
Male Skimmers do have favorite posts in a territory, but seem to abandon such posts pretty easy. So, they tend to be less territorial in comparison to e.g. Tramea's.
"Aruban" Skimmer (Orthemis spec.). Grote Knip - Curacao, March 2009. Female.