Dragonflies: Widow Skimmer

Photo of Widow Skimmer

The wing pattern of a male Widow Skimmer (Libellula luctuosa) is distinctive among New England dragonflies. No other species has broad dark patches at the base of the wings bordered by white bands. Females and immature males have similarly patterned wings, minus the white bands, and have black-and-yellow striped abdomens, unlike the blue/gray abdomen of an adult male. Widow Skimmers breed in still-water wetlands, but may forage well away from water. They're most active in New England during the warm months of June, July and August.

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