belted whiteface

(Leucorrhinia proxima)

               
Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

not yet assessed belted whiteface

NatureServe

N5 - Secure

SNR - Unranked

Occurrence

Common

Flight/Season

Mid-May to mid-August

Habitat

Marshy or boggy lakes and ponds

Size

15 16 to 17 16 long

 

Identification

This is a small skimmer, 15 16 to 17 16 long. It is highly variable in appearance.

Mature males have a black thorax with red spots on the back between the wing bases. The abdomen is long and slender. On red form males, abdominal segments 1 through 3 are red and segments 4 through 10 are black. On white form males, abdominal segments 1 through 4, sometimes segments 1 through 6, are covered with a white pruinescence, and the remaining segments are black. There are sometimes pale hairline spots on the upper (dorsal) surface of the abdominal segments 4 through 7. The face is white. The wings are clear except for a small black patch at the base of the hindwings and a black stigma at the leading edge of each wing. The region of the wing just beyond the forewing triangle has 3 rows of cells. The legs are black.

Females have thin, pale, yellowish or reddish-orange spots on the dorsal surface of abdominal segments 4 through 7. The spots of segments 5 and 6 are narrow and ½ to ¾ the length of the segment. The dorsal spots fade with age. Some females develop dull red markings on the back of the thorax between the wing bases. Some develop pruinescence like the white-form male. Some have a conspicuous amber patch on the basal 20% of the wing (where the wing attaches to the thorax).

Juveniles have a yellow thorax that becomes brown with age. On juvenile males abdominal segments 1 through 3 are yellow and 4 through 10 are black. On juvenile females there are thin, yellow, dorsal spots on segments 4 through 7.

 
Similar
Species

Frosted whiteface (Leucorrhinia frigida) is smaller and has a shorter, stubbier abdomen. Males have no red on the thorax between the wing bases. The pruinescence on the abdomen does not extend beyond segment 4. The region of the wing just beyond the forewing triangle has only 2 rows of cells.


Naiad Food

Mayfly larvae, mosquito larvae, other aquatic fly larvae, freshwater shrimp, small fish, and tadpoles.

 
Adult Food

Mosquitoes, flies, butterflies, moths, mayflies, and flying ants or termites, and other soft-bodied flying insects.

 
Life Cycle

The female hovers and dips the tip of her abdomen into the water to deposit the eggs. The male guards the female as she deposits her eggs.

The naiads live in submerged vegetation. They emerge as adults at night.

 
Behavior

Adults perch horizontally on the ground. They hunt from shoreline vegetation or from the ground in woodland openings.


Distribution Distribution Map   Sources: 7, 16, 18.

Comments

Name Change
In 2010, the common name of this species was changed from to red-waisted whiteface belted whiteface.


Taxonomy

Order:

Odonata (dragonflies and damselflies)

 

Suborder:

Epiprocta

 

Infraorder:

Anisoptera (dragonflies)

 

Superfamily:

Cavilabiata

 

Family:

Libellulidae (skimmers)

 
Synonyms

 

 
Common
Names

belted whiteface

red-waisted whiteface


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

pruinescence

A waxy bloom that covers the underlying coloration and gives a dusty or frosty appearance.

 

stigma

In plants, the portion of the female part of the flower that is receptive to pollen. In Lepidoptera, an area of specialized scent scales on the forewing of some skippers, hairstreaks, and moths. In Odonata, a thickened, dark or opaque cell near the tip of the wing on the leading edge.

 

 

 

 

 

       

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