Slaty Skimmer - Libellula incesta (Hagen, 1861)

Range & Habitat:

Found throughout the state, in a variety of habitats. One of the commonest skimmers, frequently seen late into the season.


Flight Season:
Early Date: 15 May
Late Date: 16 October

Flight season charts created from records in the official database maintained by Allen Barlow.

Male Dorsal - Photo by Jim Bangma
Click on a thumbnail to view full-size photo

Males are dark blue or nearly black, with a dark face and dark stigmas. Females and young males have a black stripe down the abdomen and a pale pattern on the side of the thorax said by various authorities to resemble a wolf's head or a parrot's head. To me it looks nothing like those, maybe a rhinoceros head makes as much sense as anything.

This thorax pattern is shared by Great Blue Skimmer and Bar-winged Skimmer; Great Blue has a whitish face and Bar-winged has light edges to the sides of the face. The overall coloration of these species may be brighter as well.

Conservation Status:
State: S5 Demonstrably secure in the state
Global: G5 Secure globally, but possibly rare in parts of its range