|King Skimmers (Libellulidae)|
|Blue Corporal (Ladona deplanata)
of the earliest odes in spring, male is small and blue (upper) and female/imm is
brown w/ pale shoulder stripes (center). Old males get washed out
(lower left). Often perches on ground or tree
|Golden-winged Skimmer (Libellula auripennis)
Uncommon throughout state, but note Needham's Skimmer is extremely similar
(only found near coast). The best way to separate from Needham's is to note
pattern on side of thorax (see images at left, males in left-hand column and
females in right): In Golden-winged the line between the dark (upper and
more forward) color follows the humeral suture (the break in pieces of side
of thorax). In females and young males this is easy, but can be tough in
older males (see lower left). In Needham's this line does not follow the
suture and goes forward about halfway down.
Note vein on leading edge of female's wing (upper right) is all yellow
(inner half black in Needham's).
Lowest right is older dull female.
|Needham's Skimmer (Libellula needhami)
Very similar to Golden-winged, but only found near coast. See ID comments
under Golden-winged Skimmer. Main reliable difference is the pattern
between dark and lighter colors on side of thorax does not follow humeral
suture but light color bleeds forward into lower front part of thorax.
Compare with Golden-winged, and note that in old male Needham's (middle left) this feature
can be very faded. One secondary mark is that the reddish color in the wings
is mostly along the leading edge, and in Golden-winged the orange color
most of the wing.
|Bar-winged Skimmer (Libellula axilena)
Slender for a skimmer, and easy to miss. Often found in forest instead of
open like other skimmers, and more common earlier in the year. Both Slaty and Great Blue
adult males may have
some black marks on leading edge of wings resembling Bar-winged, but note
small white area at very base of hindwing. Compare imm males (and
females) with other
king skimmers, and note dark face and reddish area above white pattern on
side of thorax, reddish area subtly different from Slaty.
|Spangled Skimmer (Libellula cyanea)
Less common than some other king skimmers, and mostly found in marshy
habitat. All ages (males upper and middle left, female/imms others) easily recognized by
split white/black stigmas. Very old and dark female at lower left. The one at
upper right actually flew up while I
was camera-stalking her and nabbed a deer fly that was harassing me...
|Yellow-sided Skimmer (Libellula flavida)
Uncommon throughout Georgia, note strong yellow marking near leading edge of
forewing and pale pattern on side of thorax of both sexes. Males on left,
females on right. Rarely the black of the wingtip bleeds into the yellow
stigma creating a split look similar to that of Spangled Skimmer, but pale
color yellow in Yellow-sided stigma and white in Spangled.
|Slaty Skimmer (Libellula incesta)
Very common throughout state. Female (lower right) can be much brighter and very difficult to separate from other female king skimmers but note partially dark face. Pattern on side of female thorax very similar to Great Blue Skimmer but has some reddish marking above white sides.
2 May- 7 Nov
|Widow Skimmer (Libellula luctuosa)
Both sexes unmistakable with inner half of wings black, males on left and females on right. Imm male at lower left is colored like female but note white coming into wing. Older female at lower right is dark and faded, typically they are brighter yellow as at upper right.
6 May- 2 Nov
|Twelve-spotted Skimmer (Libellula pulchella)
Most spots of any skimmer in Georgia. Females on right like Common Whitetail female with 3 black marks per wing and brown abdomen but 12-spotted has a yellow stripe the length of the abdomen not series of pale highlights (see C Whitetail). This stripe becomes faded in older females like bottom right. Imm male at middle left and both lower has black spots of female and acquires white spots of adult male but thorax and abdominal pattern of female.
24 Apr- 22 Oct
|Painted Skimmer (Libellula semifasciata)
Unmistakable but uncommon, and mostly early. Female at lower left.
21 Mar- 23 Aug
|Great Blue Skimmer (Libellula vibrans)
Male (two upper left) is a large blue skimmer with green eyes, and may have some black marks in wings. Imm male same as imm female, bright abdomen, black wingtips. Similar to other imm male/female king skimmers, but note all white face (all ages and both sexes). On side of thorax, note no reddish markings above white pattern just beneath wing bases, compare to Slaty and Bar-winged. Older adult female (middle right) has faded pattern but still pale face. Common throughout the south.
8 Apr- 25 Sep
|Common Whitetail (Plathemis lydia)
Very common at all water habitats. Female (upper right) has 6 wing spots but brown abdomen with pale highlights along side, similar to female 12 Spotted Skimmer (which has unbroken yellow line along side of abdomen), and often found far from water. Imm male at middle right has only 4 wing spots and white starting to come in at wing base. Unusual adult male at middle left has black spots at wingtips. Female at lower left is ovipositing. 17 Mar- 6 Nov
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All photographs copyright 2006 by Giff Beaton unless otherwise noted.