The Yellow-Veined Skimmer takes its common name from the colour of the costa (i.e. the leading edge of the wing), which is yellow from the node to the wing tip. Between the wing base and the node, though, it's the third vein in, rather than the costa itself, which is yellow. As such Orthetrum nitidinerve is fairly easy to recognise in the field, also because its eyes tend to be brown rather than green (as they are in O. brunneum and O. chrysostigma) and its legs are quite yellowish. The species is rare in Europe, occurring only in Spain and Portugal; historical records from Campania and Sicily have not been confirmed recently, although a sizeable population was discovered in Sardinia in 2011. We photographed the species during a field trip to Tunisia in 2009, where we saw about a dozen or so males but, alas, not a single female. [Update: in June 2013 we visited Sardinia and did find quite a large population of the species. So our photographs now include males, females and copulas.]
LineDrawing: the male's wings in dorsal view and the female's abdominal segments 7 - 10 in lateral view.
For an overview of the Yellow-Veined Skimmer's distribution in Europe, hover your mouse pointer over the map symbol . With the editors' permission we have based this map on data to be published in Kalkman, V. J. & J.-P. Boudot (eds.), Atlas of the Dragonflies of Europe (in prep.).
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