Minnesota Dragonfly

Chalk-fronted Corporal

Ladona julia

The Chalk-fronted Corporal is a common Skimmer that can frequently be seen perched on roads or trails, often in large numbers. They get their common name from the white, chalk-colored stripes on the top of the thorax that look like corporal stripes


Field Marks
  • Average adult size is approximately from 1.6 to 1.8 inches
  • Face is brown to black with white on the front of the frons
  • Brown eyes
  • Top of the thorax has 2 chalk white stripes separated by a thin black line
  • Side of thorax is brown and unmarked
  • Legs primarily black with brown at the base
  • Black patches on base of the wings
  • First four abdominal segments are chalk white
  • Last 6 abdominal segments dark with rings separating the segments
  • Terminal appendages are brown with cerci extending not much further than the epiproct

Click on photos above for a close-up view.

Field Marks
  • Tan face, with white on frons and red-brown eyes
  • Pair of beige stripes on top of tan thorax
  • Side of thorax tan and unmarked, black patches at base of wings
  • Yellowish-tan abdomen outlined with black on the sides and with a black stripe running down the center
  • Subgenital plates are a small lip

Click on photos above for a close-up view.

Natural History


The Chalk-fronted Corporal can often be seen in great numbers, frequently perched flat on a sunny road or trail. Males can be territorial chasing away other males as well as males of other similar skimmer species. This species is not very wary of humans. One time, at a northern bog lake, a Chalk-fronted Corporal perched on the brim of my hat to eat a deer fly which it caught while the fly was trying to bite me


Prefers an acidic habitat such as bogs, marshy lakes and ponds, and slow-moving mucky streams


Mating takes place in flight and is very quick, often only about 5 seconds. Females lay eggs by dipping their abdomen into shallow waters, typically near the shoreline

Range Maps

Click on the icons above for this species' range maps

Click here for county and state checklists from Odonata Central.

Range maps and checklists courtesy of Odonata Central. Copyright © 2016 OdonataCentral. All Rights Reserved. Abbott, J.C. 2006-2018. OdonataCentral: An online resource for the distribution and identification of Odonata. Available at www.odonatacentral.org.