Nebraska Dragonflies and Damselflies

Slaty Skimmer

Libellula incesta

Hagen, 1861

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A Slaty Skimmer male has a black head and a slaty-blue thorax and abdomen, giving the overall impression of a very dark dragonfly. Its wings are clear, although they may have black tips. The female has a brown-gray thorax. Her abdomen is yellow to brown with a wide black central stripe, but older females become pruinose gray. The female's wings usually have dark tips.

Males perch on vegetation near the edge of water and patrol along shorelines. They can be found in a variety of wet habitats. Females are seldom over the water unless they are ovipositing. Males do not hold on to females while they lay eggs, as in some species, but they do guard the females from other males during egg laying.

This species is found in the eastern United States, from Maine to Florida and west to Wisconsin, southern Iowa, eastern Kansas, Oklahoma and eastern Texas. The westernmost record is in west Texas.

The only record of Slaty Skimmer in Nebraska is from Washington County. It was first found on June 8, 2020, by Suzanne Gucciardo.

Slaty Skimmer
Slaty Skimmer male
Photo by Suzanne Gucciardo

Size: 50-52 mm (2.0 in)

Habitat: variety of ponds, lakes, streams and swamps

Great Plains Range: TX, OK, KS, NE, MO, IA

Flight season: June to August (hypothetical)

Slaty Skimmer map

Green indicates accepted county record (specimen or photograph).
Yellow indicates sight record only.

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