Minnesota Dragonfly

Slaty Skimmer

Libellula incesta

The Slaty Skimmer is a medium sized Skimmer that gets its common name from the slaty blue-grey color of the pruinose that covers most of the males body at maturity. Slaty Skimmers have not been found in Minnesota but they are found in eastern Wisconsin


Field Marks
  • Average adult size is approximately from 1.2 to 2.2 inches
  • Dark brown face that darkens to a metallic blue-black with maturity
  • Red and brown eyes becoming dark brown at maturity
  • Slaty blue-grey thorax with no visible markings
  • Legs are mostly black with brown at the base
  • Abdomen slaty blue-grey and unmarked
  • Terminal appendages are the same slaty blue-grey color with cerci slightly longer than epiproct
  • Female and immature males have brown face, red and brown eyes, yellowish thorax which is brown on top with a yellow stripe starting from the back of the head and running between the wings, and yellow thorax with a wide black stripe running down the center

Click on photos above for a close-up view.

Field Marks
  • Eyes red above and tan below
  • Face brown on top with tan in the front
  • Thorax brown on top and near the legs, tan on the sides
  • Abdomen tan with a thick center stripe that gets darker near the end and dark edging on underside
  • Cup shaped subgenital plates with short terminal appendages
  • Dark wing tips and nodus

Click on photos above for a close-up view.

Natural History


Males typically perch on sun lit vegetation near the water. They are territorial and will chase other males away. Females usually stay away from the water until they are ready to mate


Marshy lakes and ponds, bog ponds, swamps, and slow moving mucky streams,


Mating is quick, usually under a minute. Female lays eggs by hovering low over the water then dropping down to strike the surface several times, splashing the eggs off her abdomen. Males will sometimes guard egg laying females by hovering over them and chasing away any other males

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.