Wisconsin Odonata Survey


Leucorrhinia frigida  Hagen, 1890
Frosted Whiteface

Libellulidae, Skimmer Family

This genus of small, mostly black, low flyers are easy to identify as whitefaces by their white faces with thin short black hairs, small black basal wing spots, and black legs. They are is similar to Sympetrum species in appearance and behavior in some cases. Because species within this genus are similar-looking and change in appearance as they age, careful observation and considerable practice is required to correctly identify both genders of various ages of all species.


Global: G5     Wisconsin: S4    

Distinguishing Characteristics:

The female of this small black dragonfly has a white face and yellow markings on its back. The male is black with some white on its basal abdominal segments. The male is similar to the belted whiteface male, but the frosted whiteface male has no red coloration and is "stubbier" in appearance. The length of the body varies from 1.1 to 1.3 inches.

Description of Habitat/Range:

This species is common in northeastern United States. It is usually found at vegetated ponds and lakes, especially those with floating sphagnum. It is common in the northern two-thirds of Wisconsin.

Flight Season:

Late May to early September in Wisconsin.

Shading illustrates monthly percentages of the total flight season records for the species. Each flight season record is a unique date/location/observer combination where one or more adult or an exuvia was recorded (excludes nymphs). The actual number of flight season records for each month is shown in parentheses.

Flight seasons begin earlier in the southern part of the state, often by a week or more. Also, flight charts may not be accurate for rare species because of few data available.
View user-submitted photos

(Click on photos to enlarge)
Photo of Male frosted whiteface
Male frosted whiteface. © Dan Jackson

Male frosted whiteface
Photo of Immature male frosted whiteface
Immature male frosted whiteface. © Dan Jackson

Immature male frosted whiteface
Photo of Female frosted whiteface
Female frosted whiteface. © Mike Reese

Female frosted whiteface
Photo of Female frosted whiteface with amber wings
Female frosted whiteface with amber wings. © Dan Jackson

Female frosted whiteface with amber wings

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