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For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada

Species Libellula luctuosa - Widow Skimmer

Widow Skimmer - Libellula luctuosa Dragonfly - Libellula luctuosa - female Widow Skimmer - Libellula luctuosa - female Widow Skimmer dragonfly - Libellula luctuosa - male Libellula luctuosa Libellula luctuosa Damselfly Unidentified #2 - Libellula luctuosa Unknown Dragonfly - Libellula luctuosa - male
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Odonata (Dragonflies and Damselflies)
Suborder Anisoptera (Dragonflies)
Family Libellulidae (Skimmers)
Genus Libellula
Species luctuosa (Widow Skimmer)
Other Common Names
Explanation of Names
The species name means sorrowful or mournful, perhaps because the wings of both male and female seem to be draped in mourning crepe.
One of 24 Nearctic species in the genus.
Mature males have a large basal area of brown on each of the four wings, and each wing also has a whitish area roughly at the middle. Their brown bodies become increasingly pruinose (whitish) as they get older.

Females and immature males have the same brown wing bands as the mature males, but not the whitish areas. Wings usually have a brown tip. A dorsal view of the abdomen shows a brown band at center with a yellow stripe running along each side.
Found across most of the United States except the Rocky Mountain region. The range continues southward across the Mexican border. The Widow Skimmer has been reported from four Canadian provinces: Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, and Nova Scotia.
Most commonly found at lakes and ponds, sometimes at streams, and sometimes well away from water.
Most commonly seen in the Summer, but in Spring and Fall as well in warmer areas.
Flying insects.
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