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Great Blue Skimmer (Libellula vibrans)

Detailing the identifying qualities of the Great Blue Skimmer, including physical features and territorial reach.

 Updated: 8/11/2017; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©

  Great Blue Skimmer  
Picture of Great-Blue-Skimmer
Picture of Great-Blue-Skimmer

The Great Blue Skimmer is a large dragonfly that is content to watch the summer days go by.

The brightly colored bodies of the Great Blue Skimmer are characteristic of most of the dragonflies in the Libellulidae family. Members are sometimes called King Skimmers because of their large size. The wings of the Great Blue Skimmer have black bands and spots. The males have an abdomen that is thick and light blue. They may have some green markings on the sides of their thorax ('chest'). Females have brown abdomen and aren't really blue at all!

Adults are most active in the peak summer months. Males can be seen resting on vegetation for long periods of time. Females flick fertilized eggs onto the shore after picking up a drop of water to help them stick on land. Larvae hatch and develop in still waters.

Great Blue Skimmer Information

Category: Dragonfly or Damselfly
Common Name: Great Blue Skimmer
Scientific Name: Libellula vibrans
Other Name(s): Blue Skimmer

Taxonomy Hierarchy

 Arrow graphic Kingdom: Animalia
  Arrow graphic Phylum: Arthropoda
   Arrow graphic Class: Insecta
    Arrow graphic Order: Odonata
     Arrow graphic Family: Libellulidae
      Arrow graphic Genus: Libellula
       Arrow graphic Species: vibrans

Size, Identifying Tags and Territorial Reach

Size (Adult, Length): Size (Adult, Length): 18 mm to 64 mm (0.702 inches to 2.496 inches)
Identifying Colors: blue; black; white; brown; green; yellow

North American Territorial Reach (Though Not Limited To): Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee,Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Ontario

A Note About Territorial Reach: Keep in mind that an insect's reach is not limited by lines drawn on a map and therefore species may appear in areas, regions and/or states beyond those listed above. Insects are driven by environmental factors, food supplies and mating patterns and do not nescessarily work within hard-and-fast territorial lines like we humans do.

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