Wisconsin Odonata Survey

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Libellula semifasciata  Burmeister, 1839
Painted Skimmer


Libellulidae, Skimmer Family
"Most Wanted" Species

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: S1S2    

Distinguishing Characteristics:

The painted skimmer is easily identifiable by its wing patterns. Amber-tinted at bases and tips, the wings also have 1 or 2 brown streaks at base. There is a brown spot in middle, near the front edge of the wing and brown bands near the tip. The length of the body varies from 1.8 to 1.9 inches. The thorax has two lateral stripes; a white one in front and yellow one in back. The orange abdomen has a black dorsal stripe on the bottom half. The gray face becomes orange at maturity. The wing veins of a male turn orange at maturity. The female has a small flange near the end of the abdomen.

Description of Habitat/Range:

Found in eastern United States, this species likes marshy forest ponds and occasionally bogs or slow streams. Most common habitat preference is coastal plains. Wisconsin may have been part of its historical range, with an older record from Milwaukee County. It could still occur in some of our southeastern counties.

Flight Season:

The flight season, in the northern part of its range, is from late May to mid-July.


Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
75%
(6)
13%
(1)
13%
(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 painted skimmer
Male painted skimmer. © Dennis Paulson

Male painted skimmer
Photo of Female painted skimmer
Female painted skimmer. © Dennis Paulson

Female painted skimmer



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