Twelve-spotted Skimmer / La gracieuse

Libellula pulchella

Fundy Nature Notes, Quotes and Anecdotes 4

Twelve-spotted Skimmer / La gracieuse
(Libellula pulchella)

Size: 43-57 mm, average 50 mm

First Fundy record: July 18th, 2013, Caribou Plain, D. Doucet

Status and Habitat: Common across much of southern NB and rare to absent in the north, but steadily moving in. Mostly occurs in ponds and lakes with emergent vegetation, especially those with soft bottoms. Also seen occasionally at bogs and slower streams.

Flight period in New Brunswick: June 16th to September 7th.

ID Hints: With their alternating pattern of black and white in the wings, the males of this species are highly distinctive. The females are another matter. They closely resemble those of the Common Whitetail, but in the Twelve-spotted, her line of yellow spots on the abdomen forms a much more continuous, uninterrupted line, whereas in the Common Whitetail female, her line is a composed of a series of disconnected (interrupted), yellow dashes.

Nature Notes: Males hold territories up to 90 square meters. Territories may change daily. This species is believed to be somewhat migratory. In New Brunswick, good numbers are occasionally seen at coastal migrations sites along with Common Green Darners and the two Glider species, such as at Southwestern Head on Grand Manan Island.

Sources and Credits

  1. (c) nbdragonflyguy, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC-SA), uploaded by Denis Doucet, http://www.inaturalist.org/photos/3044704
  2. (c) nbdragonflyguy, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC-SA), uploaded by Denis Doucet, http://www.inaturalist.org/photos/3044703
  3. (c) nbdragonflyguy, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC-SA), uploaded by Denis Doucet, http://www.inaturalist.org/photos/3044705
  4. (c) Denis Doucet, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC)

More Info

iNatCA Map

Family Libellulidae