Wisconsin Odonata Survey

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Libellula quadrimaculata  Linnaeus, 1758
Four-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:

The four-spotted skimmer has small dark marks on the wings at the nodus and near the base. The thorax is gray-brown with hairs. The abdomen is gray-brown with narrow lateral yellow stripes. The female lacks the flange of the male, near the end of the abdomen. A very active dragonfly, it will eat other smaller dragonflies.

Description of Habitat/Range:

This species is commonly found throughout Canada and northern United States, including mountains in the west. It is usually found at boggy wetlands, slow streams, and borrow pits. It is very common and widely distributed throughout Wisconsin.

Flight Season:

Early May to mid-August in Wisconsin.


Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
<1%
(1)
12%
(101)
57%
(489)
29%
(249)
2%
(13)
<1%
(3)
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 four-spotted skimmer
Male four-spotted skimmer. © Dan Jackson

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

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

Immature male four-spotted skimmer
Photo of Immature male four-spotted skimmer
Immature male four-spotted skimmer. © Dan Jackson

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

Female four-spotted skimmer
Photo of Female four-spotted skimmer
Female four-spotted skimmer. © Jim Lind

Female four-spotted skimmer
Photo of Immature female four-spotted skimmer
Immature female four-spotted skimmer. © Dan Jackson

Immature female four-spotted skimmer



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