Wisconsin Odonata Survey


Erythrodiplax umbrata  (Linnaeus, 1758)
Band-winged Dragonlet

Libellulidae, Skimmer Family
"Most Wanted" Species

Six species of this primarily tropical genus are found in North America, but none had been found as far north as Wisconsin until this species was recorded twice here in 2012.


Global: G5     Wisconsin: SNA    

Distinguishing Characteristics:

The male of this dark, slender, mid-sized skimmer is unmistakable. His wings each have a large, rectangular black band from midwing to (or approaching) the stigma (the male common whitetail also has a large black band on each wing but is otherwise very different). Females sometimes have banded wings like the males (andromorphs), but usually they lack wing markings and are mostly a drab brownish in color (heteromorphs). Heteromorph females can be identified by the dark brown marks along the side of the abdomen that are pointed in front.

Description of Habitat/Range:

Temporary pools and marshes surrounded by sparse or tall shoreline vegetation. This is a semi-migratory species that is common in the southern states from Texas to Florida and occasionally strays north of Arkansas and Oklahoma. In Wisconsin adults were first observed in Kenosha County then Milwaukee County in 2012. This species is not known to breed here. Please report any evidence of breeding (pairs in wheel, ovipositing females, tenerals, nymphs, or exuviae) to the Wisconsin Odonata Survey.

Flight Season:

In Wisconsin, both adults were observed in June. In Ohio it was observed from June into October. In Florida it flies year-round.

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 band-winged dragonlet
Male band-winged dragonlet. © Ken Tennessen

Photo of Female band-winged dragonlet
Female band-winged dragonlet. © Ken Tennessen

Photo of Female band-winged dragonlet
Female band-winged dragonlet. © Ken Tennessen

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