Nebraska Dragonflies and Damselflies

White-faced Meadowhawk

Sympetrum obtrusum

Hagen, 1861

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The White-faced Meadowhawk starts out with a yellow face, which becomes white as the insect ages. The male has a red abdomen with black triangles on the sides, an unmarked thorax, black legs and dark wing veins. Females and young males are yellow to brown.

This species is very similar to and may hybridize with Cherry-faced and Ruby Meadowhawks. Although Cherry-faced, Ruby and White-faced Meadowhawks all have an orangish patch at the base of the wings, the patch is very small in the White-faced Meadowhawks compared to the other two species.

This is the most abundant meadowhawk in the state, and youngindividuals are often found in huge numbers mixed with other youngmeadowhawks. Nebraska is near southern limit for the species and it is to be expected in every county, although it is decidedly less common in southern counties than northern ones and not yet found in a number of counties in the southeastern part of the state. It is a species of grassy pond edges, marshy areas and wet areas near streams.

White-faced Meadowhawk
White-faced Meadowhawk

Size: 31-39 mm (1.2-1.5 in)

Habitat: ponds, lakes and slow streams

Great Plains Range: KS, NE, SD, ND, NM, CO, WY, MT, MO, IA, MN

Flight season: early June to mid September

White-faced Meadowhawk map

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

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