belted whiteface

(Leucorrhinia proxima)

Conservation Status
belted whiteface
  IUCN Red List

not listed

     
  NatureServe

N5 - Secure

SNR - Unranked

     
  Minnesota

not listed

     
           
           
 
Description
 
 

Belted whiteface 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.

 
     
 

Size

 
 

Total Length: 15 16 to 17 16

 
     
 

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.  
     
 
Habitat
 
 

Marshy or boggy lakes and ponds

 
     
 
Biology
 
 

Season

 
 

Mid-May to mid-August

 
     
 

Behavior

 
 

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

 
     
 

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.

 
     
 

Nymph 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.

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

7, 16, 18, 30.

 
  3/11/2019      
         
 

Occurrence

 
 

Common

 
         
 
Taxonomy
 
 

Order

Odonata (dragonflies and damselflies)  
 

Suborder

Epiprocta  
  Infraorder Anisoptera (dragonflies)  
 

Superfamily

Cavilabiata  
 

Family

Libellulidae (skimmers)  
 

Genus

Leucorrhinia  
       
 

Synonyms

 
 

 

 
       
 

Common Names

 
  belted whiteface  
     
 

In 2010, the common name of this species was changed from to red-waisted whiteface belted 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 other insects, a thickened, dark, or opaque cell on the leading edge of the wing.

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
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MinnesotaSeasons.com Photos
 
 

Mature Male

 
    belted whiteface      
           
 

Mature Female

 
    belted whiteface   belted whiteface  
           
 

Immature Female

 
    belted whiteface   belted whiteface  
           

 

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Created 3/11/2019

Last Updated:

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