Nebraska Dragonflies and Damselflies

Division of Entomology

Widow Skimmer

Libellula luctuosa

Burmeister, 1839

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The inner 1/3 to 1/2 of the Widow Skimmer's wings are dark brown to black and bordered by white in both sexes. The abdomen of the male becomes pruinose (whitish). Females have dark wingtips. The abdomens of females and young males have yellow side stripes.

Very common. This is primarily an eastern pond species, but it is common alongthe Pacific coast with records in southern Arizona and New Mexicoto Texas. Nebraska is close to the western edge of the eastern range.Often abundant at ponds but also found along slow moving streams, it isless likely in the more seasonal or degraded habitats where onestill finds Twelve-spotted Skimmer and Common Whitetail.

Widow Skimmer
Widow Skimmer male

Size: 42-50 mm (1.7-2.0 in)

Habitat: ponds and lakes

Great Plains Range: TX, OK, KS, NE, SD, NM, CO, MO, IA, MN

Flight season: late May to early September

Widow Skimmer map

Green indicates accepted county record (specimen or photograph).
Yellow indicates sight record only.


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