four-spotted skimmer

(Libellula quadrimaculata)

               
Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

LC - Least Concern

four-spotted skimmer

NatureServe

N5 - Secure

SNR - Unranked

Minnesota

not listed

Occurrence

Common and widespread

Flight/Season

Mid-May to September

Habitat

Marshy or boggy lakes and ponds, fens, and slow streams.

Size

Wingspan: 3

Total Length: 1to 1¾

 

Identification

This is an early season, medium-sized, 1to 1¾ long skimmer. Males and females are similar in appearance.

Juveniles and young adults are highly colorful and easily identifiable. The thorax and abdomen are densely covered with short hairs. The upper side of the thorax and abdominal segments 1 through 6 are bright yellowish-brown. Abdominal segments 7 through 10 are black. Each abdominal segment has two narrow yellow spots forming a continuous stripe on each side of the abdomen. The female’s abdomen is tapered like the male’s.

The leading edge of each wing has a broad amber streak with yellow veins, a small black spot at the notch in the middle (nodus), and a dark stigma near the end. The base of each hindwing, where the wing attaches to the thorax, has a triangular black patch with yellow veins. The wings are otherwise clear. The forewing and hindwing triangles are a different size and shape.

The face is yellow. The eyes are brown and meet at the top of the head.

On mature individuals the yellowish-brown areas of the thorax and abdomen become dull grayish-brown and the wings lose most of their amber color.

 
Similar
Species

 


Naiad Food

Aquatic insect larvae and tadpoles.

 
Adult Food

Mosquitoes, gnats, midges, and other dragonflies.

 
Life Cycle

Mating takes place in flight and lasts from a few second to about a minute. With the male hovering nearby, the female deposits white eggs, one at a time, by dipping the tip of her abdomen in the water. The eggs soon turn brown and hatch in about five days, depending on water temperature.

 
Behavior

Adults perch on the top of taller emergent vegetation, twigs, or weeds, often far from water. They launch from their perch to attack prey then return to the same perch. They sometimes forage in swarms over land or water. Males aggressively defend their territory.


Distribution Distribution Map  

Sources: 7, 17, 27, 29.


Comments

Four Spots or Eight?
Eight-spotted skimmer has two large spots on each wing for a total of eight. Twelve-spotted skimmer has three large dark spots on each wing for a total of twelve. Four-spotted skimmer has two small dark spots on each wing and one large spot on each hindwing for a total of ten. A more appropriate name might be ten-spotted skimmer (Libellula decamaculata).


Taxonomy

Order:

Odonata (dragonflies and damselflies)

 

Suborder:

Epiprocta

 

Infraorder:

Anisoptera (dragonflies)

 

Superfamily:

Cavilabiata

 

Family:

Libellulidae (skimmers)

 
Synonyms

 

 
Common
Names

four-spotted chaser (Great Britain and Europe)

four-spot pond skimmer

four-spotted skimmer


 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

nodus

On a dragonfly, the small notch on the lead edge of each wing about halfway between the body and the tip.

 

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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MinnesotaSeasons.com Photos

   

Juvenile or young adult

  four-spotted skimmer   four-spotted skimmer
       
  four-spotted skimmer   four-spotted skimmer
       
  four-spotted skimmer    
       

Mature adult

  four-spotted skimmer   four-spotted skimmer
       
  four-spotted skimmer    
       
       

 

Camera

     

Slideshows

   
  Four Spotted Skimmer
DianesDigitals
 
  Four Spotted Skimmer  
 
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  Libellula quadrimaculata (Four-spotted Skimmer)
Allen Chartier
 
  Libellula quadrimaculata (Four-spotted Skimmer)  
     
  Libellula quadrimaculata-Emergència
Anna Ribera
 
   
 
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Uploaded on Dec 28, 2011

Libellula quadrimaculata-Emergència

 
     

 

slideshow

     

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Other Videos

 
  Schlupf einer Großlibelle- vermutlich Libellula quadrimaculata- big dragonfly
helehu39
 
   
 
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Uploaded on May 9, 2009

Libellula quadrimaculata- Vierflecklibelle! beim Schlüpfen!

Hier sieht man den Schlupf einer Großlibelle- vermutlich der Vierflecklibelle (Libellula quadrimaculata).

Bildfolge aus 159 Bildern...

Viel Spaß beim Anschauen!!

Freue mich über Antworten...

 
     
  Viervlek Libelle (Libellula quadrimaculata)
Martijn de Boer
 
   
 
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Published on May 31, 2012

Viervlek Libelle (Libellula quadrimaculata) - mei 2012

De viervlek (Libellula quadrimaculata) is een echte libel uit de familie van de korenbouten (Libellulidae).

Gefilmd bij een ven in het Riels Laag (Riel, gemeente Goirle).

Film: Martijn de Boer
http://www.martijndeboer.com

 
     
  Four-spotted Skimmer (Libellulidae: Libellula quadrimaculata)
Carl Barrentine
 
   
 
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Uploaded on Jun 12, 2011

Photographed at the Turtle River State Park, North Dakota (08 June 2011).

 
     
  Four-spotted Chaser | Libellula quadrimaculata
The Ultimate Variety Channel!
 
   
 
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Published on Jul 7, 2013

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  Four-spotted Chaser / Vierfleck (Libellula quadrimaculata) HD
Alexander Rauch
 
   
 
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Published on Jun 11, 2012

Four-spotted Chaser / Vierfleck
(Libellula quadrimaculata)

Filmed with Canon 600d and Tamron 70-300 VC USD.
watch in HD!

check out my photography-work here:
https://www.facebook.com/RauchMacro
http://www.flickr.com/photos/alexrauch/
http://500px.com/AlexanderRauch

Music by David Löhstana

 
     

 

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