Dot Tailed Whiteface, Leucorrhinia intacta

The dot-tailed whiteface (Leucorrhinia intacta) is a species of dragonfly that can be found in North America. Its range includes many areas of Canada and the United States including Manitoba and Alberta in Canada and California, Idaho, Kansas, Ohio, and Utah in the United States, among many other areas. It prefers to reside near marshlands or areas with bogs, but it can also be found near ponds, especially those with lilies. This species is typically active between the months of May and August.

The dot-tailed whiteface reaches an average body length of about one inch and is black in color. Males hold one yellow spot on the upper abdomen, while females hold many yellow spots along the abdomen and one on the top of the head. Both males and females hold transparent wings with black bases and black legs. The face is white in both males and females and the abdomen has been known to fade as individuals mature. Naiads, or larvae, of this species are brown in color with green stripes or spots occurring along the abdomen.

The dot-tailed whiteface prefers to live in warmer environments and it can often be seen resting on water lilies. It hunts in thick vegetation, consuming soft-bodied insects like mosquitoes, moths, and mayflies. Males of this species will protect females after breeding while they lay their eggs in protected areas of water sources. The resulting larvae will feed on other aquatic larvae by hiding in underwater vegetation, which protects them from potential predators. This species has no major threats and is common throughout its range.

Image Caption: Juvenile female Dot-Tailed Whiteface (Leucorrhinia intacta). Credit: Raphael Carter/Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 3.0)