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  • Common Whitetail Skimmer - (Libellula lydia)

    Common Whitetail Skimmer - (Libellula lydia)

    The Common Whitetail Skimmer are familiar sights during hot summer days. They flit and fly over ponds and fields, bringing flashes of color to the landscape.

    Staff Writer (8/25/2017): This typical dragonfly hovers over standing or slow water (ponds, creeks, streams, marshes, lakes, etc.).

    Older males develop a white powdery substance on the abdomen called pruinosity. The long abdomen is used it to defend territory. Males will flash their white tails by holding them straight up at intruding males as they attempt to approach borders.

    Females have a brown abdomen and have a noticeably different appearance from males. They are more slender and the black color pattern on their wings almost appears to be the inverse of the male pattern. Females release their fertilized eggs into the water, near still shorelines, by dipping their abdomen under water several times. Larvae hatch and remain underwater feeding on other small aquatic insects. These naiads (juveniles) will molt into adult form after they crawl out of the water where they begin their new, mature life on land. Adults eat small flying insects like mosquitoes and gnats.

    They are active from spring through autumn. While they are dependent on a water source for the completion of their life cycle, adults have been seen in drier parts of the habitat.

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    Details of the:
    Common Whitetail Skimmer

    Category: Dragonfly or Damselfly
    Common name: Common Whitetail Skimmer
    Scientific Name: Libellula lydia

      Kingdom: Animalia
       Phylum: Arthropoda
        Class: Insecta
         Order: Odonata
          Family: Libellulidae
           Genus: Libellula
            Species: lydia

    Size (Adult, Length): 60mm to 75mm (2.36in to 2.95in)

    Identifying Colors: brown; white; black; yellow

    Additional Descriptors: hairy, flying, dragonfly, powdery

    North American Reach (Though Not Limited To*): Alabama; Alaska; Arizona; Arkansas; California; Colorado; Connecticut; Delaware; Florida; Georgia; Hawaii; Idaho; Illinois; Indiana; Iowa; Kansas; Kentucky; Louisiana; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; Michigan; Minnesota; Mississippi; Missouri; Montana; Nebraska; Nevada; New Hampshire; New Jersey; New Mexico; New York; North Carolina; North Dakota; Ohio; Oklahoma; Oregon; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; South Carolina; South Dakota; Tennessee; Texas; Utah; Vermont; Virginia; Washington; West Virginia; Wisconsin; Wyoming; Alberta; British Columbia; Manitoba; New Brunswick; Newfoundland and Labrador; Nova Scotia; Ontario; Prince Edward Island; Quebec; Saskatchewan; Mexico

    * Keep in mind that an insect's reach is not limited by lines on a map and therefore may appear in areas/regions/states beyond those listed above.

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