Species of the genus Libellula (king skimmers) often perch on shoreline vegetation, are stout bodied, and usually have distinctive body and wing patterns.
The widow skimmer is easily identified by its wings, which have large dark patches on the basal half. With the shoulders and abdomen white, the black male has white and black bands on its wings. Lighter in the color than the male, the female's wings have brown tips and brown basal wing patches. The female also has yellow stripes going down its body. The colors tend to darken with age. The widow skimmer's body seems larger due to the wings being large for the body. The length of the body varies from 1.7 to 2.0 inches.
This species is common throughout United States and southeastern Canada but not in Great Basin and Rocky Mountains area. It is usually found at ponds, lakes, marshes, and some few slow streams. It is common and widely distributed throughout Wisconsin.
Early June to late August in Wisconsin.