I took this in my garden a few days ago. And today my copy of Dragonflies and Damselflies of Kerala by Kiran C.G. and David Raju arrived. It was advertised as a bilingual book (English and Malayalam). Most of the text, however, is in Malayalam. The basic identification information is in English, so it’s useful even to those who don’t know Malayalam.
I put this book to immediate use by identifying the dragonfly in the above photo. Yes, there it was on page 130: Globe Skimmer, female.
Just to double-check, I emailed the pic to David Raju, who confirmed my identification within a few minutes.
Why the name Globe Skimmer? Because it’s found pretty much all over the globe. This was my educated guess, but I Googled just to be sure, and the Wikipedia page for the Globe Skimmer turned up some fascinating information. It’s the highest-flying dragonfly, and has been recorded at 6200 m in the Himalayas. It was also the first dragonfly species that settled on Bikini Atoll after the nuclear tests there.
And it migrates to Africa from India by flying over the Arabian Sea! Globe Skimmer indeed! I must say I’ve developed a healthy respect for this tiny visitor to my garden after learning all this.