Libellula Luctuosa, North America and
The Widow Skimmer is a dragonfly of the Family Libellulidae and has a
beautiful brownish-blue skimmer body with a black curved coloring pattern
on their wings that extend over half the wing followed by a bluish-white
to light-pink outer stripe with an occasional darkening at the wing-tips.
The face (or head) are usually pale yellow or brown for juveniles and
females, but the head darkens to black in mature males and ultimately
turns to a powder blue later in life.
The density of males increases dramatically during the breeding season.
The Widow Skimmer hunts from a perch located at the tip of grasses and
wildflowers. The females of the species rhythmically dip their abdomens
to the water while flying just above the surface, unaccompanied, but occasionally
guarded by a nearby male. Males may be seen regularly combating over territories.
The species are active fliers and inhabits most major stream and river
systems, lakes, marshes, still bodies of water, including marshy ponds,
creeka, streama, and borrow pits. Widow dragonflies are found at the silt-bottom
of freshwater ponds and in sandy stream side pools where the nymphs emerge
onto adjacent grass and transform into dragonflies just a few feet from
their future adult life habitat.
Dragonflies are a widespread and easily recognized species and can be
found in the regions of New Mexico, Canada, Mexico, Chile and nearly everywhere
in the U.S. except along the gulf of the southeastern United States.