Slaty Skimmer dragonfly (immature female)

The following photos show a dragonfly spotted during a photowalk along the “Hike-Bike Trail” at Huntley Meadows Park. This individual is a female, as indicated the terminal appendages at the end of its abdomen. It is either a Slaty Skimmer or Great Blue Skimmer, both of which are somewhat similar in appearance. A couple of definitive characters aren’t clearly visible in these photos.

  1. A black triangle below the base of the front wing is a good way to separate the species: Slaty Skimmers have it; Great Blue Skimmers do not.
  2. Face color can be used too: the faces of Slaty females are reddish-brown; the faces of Great Blue females are white.

Conclusion: Since this individual’s femora are mostly dark colored, it is an immature female Slaty Skimmer dragonfly (Libellula incesta).


Related Resources:

  • Slaty Skimmer – “The legs are black with brown only at their extreme bases.”
  • Great Blue Skimmers – “The femora are pale over their basal half with the remaining length, tibiae and tarsi black.”

Digital Dragonflies: presenting high-resolution digital scans of living dragonflies.

  • Genus Libellula | Libellula incesta | Slaty Skimmer | male | top view
  • Genus Libellula | Libellula incesta | Slaty Skimmer | male | side view
  • Genus Libellula | Libellula vibrans | Great Blue Skimmer | female | top view
  • Genus Libellula | Libellula vibrans | Great Blue Skimmer | female | side view

Copyright © 2012 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.


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