Wisconsin Odonata Survey

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Libellula pulchella  Drury, 1773
Twelve-spotted Skimmer


Libellulidae, Skimmer Family

Species of the genus Libellula (king skimmers) often perch on shoreline vegetation, are stout bodied, and usually have distinctive body and wing patterns.

Status-Global/State:

Global: G5     Wisconsin: S5    

Distinguishing Characteristics:

This skimmer acquired its name from the marks on the wings. There are twelve black spots, three per a wing, and eight white spots, two per a wing. The brownish male has a white abdomen. The brown female has yellow stripes down the abdomen with faded white marks on the wings. Twelve-spotted skimmers are large and strong flyers. The length of the body varies from 2.0 to 2.2 inches.

Description of Habitat/Range:

This species is common throughout United States and southern Canada. It is usually found at ponds, marshy-bordered lakes, bogs, and slow streams. It is widely distributed throughout Wisconsin.

Flight Season:

Late May to early September in Wisconsin.


Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
2%
(38)
40%
(611)
43%
(651)
13%
(206)
2%
(24)
<1%
(1)
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 twelve-spotted skimmer
Male twelve-spotted skimmer. © Dan Jackson

Male twelve-spotted skimmer
Photo of Male twelve-spotted skimmer
Male twelve-spotted skimmer. © Mike Reese

Male twelve-spotted skimmer
Photo of Immature male twelve-spotted skimmer
Immature male twelve-spotted skimmer. © Dan Jackson

Immature male twelve-spotted skimmer
Photo of Female twelve-spotted skimmer
Female twelve-spotted skimmer. © Dan Jackson

Female twelve-spotted skimmer
Photo of Female twelve-spotted skimmer
Female twelve-spotted skimmer. © Dan Jackson

Female twelve-spotted skimmer
Photo of Female twelve-spotted skimmer
Female twelve-spotted skimmer. © Derek Johnson

Female twelve-spotted skimmer



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