Wisconsin Odonata Survey

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Libellula cyanea  Fabricius, 1775
Spangled 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: S2    

Distinguishing Characteristics:

The spangled skimmer has black and white stigmas (near tips of the wings) on their wings. At base of the wings, there are small black streaks. The females have amber streaks near the stigmas and brown-tinted wing tips. The body length varies from 1.6 to 1.8 inches. The male is dark gray-blue with a black face and dark green eyes. The female has a tan face, red brown eyes, a pale yellow thorax with one brown stripe, a yellow abdomen with black dorsal stripe and a flange near the end of abdomen.

Description of Habitat/Range:

Ranging throughout eastern United States, this species can be found at ponds, long-lasting puddles, lakes, and slow streams, often with water lilies, cattails, or other vegetation. It also may be found at ponds inlets or outlets. In Wisconsin, we are at the northwestern limit of its range, and it is known from only a few southern counties.

Flight Season:

The flight season, throughout its range, is from late April to early September. In Wisconsin, a few adults have been documented in late May and late June.


Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
12%
(2)
65%
(11)
24%
(4)
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 spangled skimmer
Male spangled skimmer. © Todd Sima

Male spangled skimmer
Photo of Male spangled skimmer
Male spangled skimmer. © Dan Jackson

Male spangled skimmer
Photo of Transitional male spangled skimmer
Transitional male spangled skimmer. © Dan Jackson

Transitional male spangled skimmer
Photo of Immature male spangled skimmer
Immature male spangled skimmer. © Dan Jackson

Immature male spangled skimmer
Photo of Female spangled skimmer
Female spangled skimmer. © Dan Jackson

Female spangled skimmer
Photo of Female spangled skimmer
Female spangled skimmer. © Dan Jackson

Female spangled skimmer



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