The Dragonflies and Damselflies of North Carolina
Home Page Search Odonate Resources
LoginNC Biodiversity Project

North Carolina's 189 Odonate species

«      »

Sort Species by: Family   Scientific Name       [ Undocumented ]
Related Species in LIBELLULIDAE: Number of records for 2023 = 11

PDF has more details,
e.g., flight data, high counts, and earliest/latest dates can be seen.
[View PDF]
Spangled Skimmer (Libellula cyanea) by Mark Shields
Compare with: Yellow-sided Skimmer  
Identification Tips: Move the cursor over the image, or tap the image if using a mobile device, to reveal ID Tips.
Note: these identification tips apply specifically to mature males; features may differ in immature males and in females.

[Google images]     [Global Biodiversity Information Facility]
Click on county for list of all its records for Spangled Skimmer
Flight Charts
Distribution Statewide, but of spotty distribution in the extreme eastern Coastal Plain, at least on the Outer Banks and around the mainland portions of Pamlico Sound. Even so, it might be found in all NC counties.
Abundance Common in the mountains; fairly common (to locally common) in the Piedmont and most of the Coastal Plain. Seemingly scarce (if not locally absent) on the Outer Banks and the eastern Pamlimarle Peninsula.
Flight A slightly shorter flight period than for many other skimmers -- late April to mid-September. In the Coastal Plain, the latest records are only to late August, except for an odd mid-November record.
Habitat Ponds, small lakes, marshes, and other open waters with abundant floating or emergent vegetation.

See also Habitat Account for General Pond Shorelines
Behavior Males perch close to water and make short patrols. However, adults are typically seen well away from water, such as in powerline clearings, wide jeep roads, fields, and woodland edges. They perch on twigs, often fairly low and can be conspicuous or unwary when perching.
Comments This is our only dragonfly with black-and-white stigmas, rendering both males and females easy to identify, even though their body colorations can cause some confusion with other skimmers. The species seldom occurs in large numbers or swarms, as do some skimmers (such as Great Blue Skimmer, Common Whitetail, or Blue Corporal), but a handful can often be seen in the appropriate habitat and time of year.
State Rank S5
State Status
Global Rank G5
Federal Status
Other Name
Species account update: LeGrand on 2023-01-16 17:52:24

Photo Gallery for Spangled Skimmer   41 photos are available.
Only the most recent 30 are shown.
Other NC Galleries:    Jeff Pippen    Will Cook    Ted Wilcox
Photo 1 by: Rob Van Epps & Kevin Metcalf

Comment: Watauga, 2022-08-28, Clawson-Burnley Park
Photo 2 by: Nora Murdock, Keith Langdon, Robert Emmott

Comment: Swain, 2021-07-06,
Photo 3 by: P Dixon

Comment: Madison, 2021-06-16, Hot Springs area
Photo 4 by: Pete Dixon

Comment: Madison, 2021-06-05, Hot Springs area
Photo 5 by: Barbara McRae

Comment: Macon, 2020-05-05, Franklin, Little Tennessee River, wetland near Greenway. - Female
Photo 6 by: Ken Kneidel

Comment: Mecklenburg, 2019-05-18, female, Cowan's Ford Wildlife Refuge
Photo 7 by: Will Stuart

Comment: Anson, 2019-05-15, Photographed along Grass Island Road 200 m east of Brown Creek bridge. - Brown Creek bridge was closed for all of 2019
Photo 8 by: Pete Dixon

Comment: Madison, 2019-05-13, River Road, Murray Branch Meadows
Photo 9 by: Aaron Edmonds

Comment: Harnett; C, 2019-05-11, Campbell University- Marshbanks Property
Photo 10 by: Mike Turner

Comment: Wilkes; P, 2018-07-21, W. Kerr Scott Dam and Reservoir; from dam to ~1000' downstream - 18 adult males
Photo 11 by: Mike Turner

Comment: Forsyth, 2018-07-02, Tanglewood Park - 1 ad.male
Photo 12 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Edgecombe, 2018-05-25, Etheridge Pond, Tar River Game Land
Photo 13 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Pitt, 2018-05-25, Tar River at Falkland Boating Access Area
Photo 14 by: Aaron Edmonds

Comment: Harnett; C, 2018-05-21, Flat Branch- Male and Immature Male Observed
Photo 15 by: Aaron Edmonds

Comment: Harnett; C, 2018-05-21, Flat Branch- Male and Immature Male Observed
Photo 16 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Duplin, 2018-05-11, Northeast Cape Fear River at Chinquapin Boating Access Area - female
Photo 17 by: Barbara McRae

Comment: Macon, 2017-06-07, Franklin, Little Tennessee River, wetland near Greenway - male perched in small wetland area
Photo 18 by: Owen McConnell

Comment: Cherokee, 2015-06-15, Cherokee Lake (a dammed creek arm of Hiwassee Lake)
Photo 19 by: Conrad Wernett

Comment: Onslow, 2015-06-07 - Single mature male found at retention pond
Photo 20 by: Alicia Jackson

Comment: Hoke, 2015-05-29, along small impounded pond on existing gas line ROW
Photo 21 by: Dick Thomas

Comment: Guilford, 2015-05-29, Piedmont Environmental Center, High Point - Sunnvale Rd N.Preserve
Photo 22 by: Owen McConnell

Comment: Orange, 2015-05-26, Ayr Mount - male
Photo 23 by: Salman Abdulali

Comment: Pitt, 2015-05-05, Boyd Lee Park
Photo 24 by: Doug Johnston, Vin Stanton

Comment: Graham, 2013-07-16, Tulula Bog - Male & Female
Photo 25 by: Doug Johnston, Vin Stanton

Comment: Graham, 2013-07-16, Tulula Bog - Male & Female
Photo 26 by: George Andrews

Comment: Mecklenburg, 2013-07-08, Beatty Park from 05:30 - 07:30 PM. Skies 60/40 clear/cloud, temp. 85.
Photo 27 by: Vin Stanton, Doug Johnston, Simon Thompson

Comment: Polk; P, 2012-08-04, Foothills Equestrian Nature Center (FENCE) - Male
Photo 28 by: Vin Stanton, Doug Johnston, Gail Lankford, Janie Owen

Comment: Madison, 2012-05-17, French Broad River, Pisgah National Forest - Female
Photo 29 by: Vin Stanton, Doug Johnston

Comment: Transylvania, 2011-08-19, Brevard - Male
Photo 30 by: Bob Oberfelder

Comment: Wake, 2011-06-26, Observed in Cary at Lochmere Golf Course, Male