Wisconsin Odonata Survey


Leucorrhinia glacialis  Hagen, 1890
Crimson-ringed 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 male is black with a white face, red on the thorax, and a black abdomen with some red markings. Females are either yellow form, with yellow spots on the abdomen, or red form, with the spots on the abdomen that turn red. Males could be confused with mature male belted whitefaces, however, they do not have the white on the abdomen. The length of the body varies from 1.3 to 1.4 inches.

Description of Habitat/Range:

This species is common in southern Canada and northern United States. It is usually found at vegetated ponds, lakes, marshes, and bogs. It is widely distributed throughout Wisconsin.

Flight Season:

Mid-May to late August 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 crimson-ringed whiteface
Male crimson-ringed whiteface. © Cleveland Mus. of Nat. Hist. (Renee Boronka)

Male crimson-ringed whiteface
Photo of Male crimson-ringed whiteface
Male crimson-ringed whiteface. © Dan Jackson

Male crimson-ringed whiteface
Photo of Immature male crimson-ringed whiteface
Immature male crimson-ringed whiteface. © Dan Jackson

Immature male crimson-ringed whiteface
Photo of Female crimson-ringed whiteface
Female crimson-ringed whiteface. © Dan Jackson

Female crimson-ringed whiteface
Photo of Crimson-ringed whiteface pair
Crimson-ringed whiteface pair. © Dan Jackson

Crimson-ringed whiteface pair

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