Nebraska Dragonflies and Damselflies

Division of Entomology

Twelve-spotted Skimmer

Libellula pulchella

Drury, 1773

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The Twelve-spotted Skimmer has three dark spots on each wing, ending in black at the wingtips. Adult males have chalky white spots between the dark spots and whitish abdomens. The female has a brown, gradually tapering abdomen with smooth yellow stripes on the sides. The female Common Whitetail has a similar wing pattern, but also has a saw-tooth side stripe and an abruptly tapering abdomen.

This very common transcontinental species is found in many habitats andis the most widespread of the Nebraska skimmers. Frequently it is the onlyskimmer in drying seasonal wetlands and regularly well away fromwater in shelter belts. It also characteristically flies atconsiderable heights over wetlands or fields.

Twelve-spotted Skimmer
Twelve-spotted Skimmer male

Size: 52-57 mm (2.0-2.2 in)

Habitat: ponds, lakes and slow streams

Great Plains Range: TX, OK, KS, NE, SD, ND, NM, CO, WY. MT, MO, IA, MN

Flight season: late May to late August

Twelve-spotted Skimmer map

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


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