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  • Widow Skimmer - (Libellula luctuosa)

    Widow Skimmer - (Libellula luctuosa)

    Widow Skimmers are large and slow, making them great for observers to study. Males and females do not look alike, but they have no problem recognizing each other.

    Staff Writer (8/29/2017): Widow Skimmers live near warm waters. The water source could be a pond, marsh, small lake or lagoon. Water is necessary for the early years, so adults can be found near these types of places. Wings for males and females are similar with thick black bands on either side, but the long abdomen is a light powdery blue for males and yellow-and-black on females. Come mating season, adults pair off and mate. Unlike some other species where males guard egg-laying females, Widow Skimmer males leave the female by herself, 'widowing' her as her lays her eggs just under the surface of the water.

    Larval dragonflies are called naiads. They usually have large jaws and look more like a squat bug than an elegant dragonfly. They live underwater and eat smaller aquatic insects including other naiads sharing the same pond. They eventually leave the water and begin crawling on land to find a shrub or low plant to cling to. They will molt again and emerge as adults in late spring or summer, depending on the climate. Adults feed on small insects and can be found resting on shrubs and other short plants.

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    Details of the:
    Widow Skimmer

    Category: Dragonfly or Damselfly
    Common name: Widow Skimmer
    Scientific Name: Libellula luctuosa

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

    Size (Adult, Length): 42mm to 50mm (1.65in to 1.97in)

    Identifying Colors: white, black, blue, yellow, brown

    Additional Descriptors: flying, spots, dragonfly, banded, stripes

    North American Reach (Though Not Limited To*): Alabama; Alaska; Arizona; Arkansas; California; Colorado; Connecticut; Delaware; Florida; Georgia; 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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