Species of the Week: The Twelve-spotted Skimmer

Photo by Murphys Point PP

This week’s #SpeciesOfTheWeek is the Twelve-spotted Skimmer (Libellula pulchella). Twelve-spotted Skimmers are large showy dragonflies with a wingspan of about 10cm. When sighted, they often appear larger due to an illusion caused by the 6 alternating white and black spots on each wing (in the case of the male). Twelve-spotted Skimmers are most active in July and August and are very territorial, often patrolling the whole shore of water bodies, such as lakes and ponds. Oftentimes, male Twelve-spotted Skimmers will engage in territorial disputes with other males. These altercations consist of repeating loops around the other male, with the victor being the male that completes a full loop around the other male. The aquatic larvae of Twelve-spotted Skimmers feed on insects such as mosquito larvae, aquatic fly larvae, and freshwater shrimp. They have even been seen catching small fish! As adults, they eat a range of soft-bodied insects, including mosquitos, moths, flies, mayflies, flying ants, and termites. Let us know if you see this or other species of dragonflies in the park!

This entry was posted in Friends of Murphys Point, Murphys Point, Murphys Point Provincial Park, Species of the Week. Bookmark the permalink.

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