Widow Skimmer, Libellula luctuosa

The widow skimmer (Libellula luctuosa) is a species of dragonfly that can be found in two states of Mexico, three provinces of Canada, and forty-four states in America.  Its range includes Sonora, Nova Scotia, California, Ohio, and Texas, among many other areas. It prefers a habitat within woodland and open habitats near slow moving lakes, streams, and ponds with abundant vegetation.

Adult widow skimmers are steely blue in color, while young individuals are yellow in color with brown markings. The wings of both male and female adults hold black bands, but males will develop white markings on the tips of their wings as they grow older, while females do not develop white markings. As is common to dragonfly species, the nymphs, or larvae, of the widow skimmer reside and develop underwater.

The widow skimmer is common throughout its range and shows an increasing trend in population numbers. It has no major threats and appears in many protected areas throughout North America. Because of this, the widow skimmer appears on the IUCN Red List with a conservation status of “Least Concern.”

Image Caption: Widow Skimmer (Libellula luctuosa), adult male, Mer Bleue Conservation Area, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Credit: D. Gordon E. Robertson/Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 3.0)