Sunday, May 8, 2011

Dot-tailed Whiteface

The whitefaced dragonflies are a genus, Leucorrhinia, in the large and some what diverse skimmer family. Skimmers are a large group of mostly pond dwelling dragonflies. They come in a variety of different sizes and colors but they all have eyes that come together on the top of their head and hind wings that are rounded at the base.


The genus leucorrhinia, or the whitefaces, all have whitefaces as their name would suggest. Most are a combination of black and yellow or black and red. Some change color due to pruinose, a powdering substance that some dragonflies produce as they age. All whitefaces have black legs.


The dot-tailed whiteface is the most common whiteface found in Minnesota. It can be found in every county in the state, unlike the other whitefaces that are limited geographically. The mature male is mostly black with a single square shaped black spot on the top of abdominal segment seven, see the first picture for an example. Females and juvenile males have yellow top spots on segments one through seven, see the picture above. Dot-tailed white faces are usually found around ponds, marshy areas, as well as quiet lakes and streams.


Dot-tailed whiteface often perch on vegetation in the water, such as lily pads and algae beds. Males are often seen defending their territory from such perches. Even copulation typically takes place on floating vegetation, as pictured above. After they finish the female will lay the eggs in the water next to some floating vegetation. The male will hover guard while she lays the eggs making sure no other male can get to the female until after she has finished bearing his future offspring.

8 comments:

Our Beaten Path said...

Oh man...Great captures!

Leora said...

They do seem like busy guys and gals. Don't mess with them while they are reproducing!

Karen said...

Stunning shots, and interesting info as well.

Becca said...

I feel so enlightened...I never knew so much about dragonflies!

Jane said...

Your second shot is really great and I love the shots of the meadowhawks below too from an earlier post. But then I love dragonflies!

Fotokarusellen said...

A great set of images. Stunning details and perfect light. Well done!

Linda Makiej said...

Wonderful macro shot!!
Glad to have found you to follow!

Elaine @ Commotion said...

Perfect and amazing shots!!