The Dragonflies and Damselflies of North Carolina
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North Carolina's 189 Odonate species

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Sort Species by: Family   Scientific Name       [ Undocumented ]
Related Species in LIBELLULIDAE: Number of records for 2023 = 39

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Great Blue Skimmer (Libellula vibrans) by Mark Shields
Compare with: Bar-winged Skimmer   Eastern Pondhawk  
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.

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Click on county for list of all its records for Great Blue Skimmer
Flight Charts
Distribution Essentially statewide, lacking records now for just two mountain counties. Certainly is present in all 100 counties.
Abundance Common, to locally abundant, in the Coastal Plain; common in the eastern and central Piedmont; somewhat less numerous (fairly common, at least locally) in the western Piedmont and lower mountains. This is one of the most numerous dragonflies in swamps and bottomlands.
Flight Late April into early October in the Piedmont and into late October in the Coastal Plain. The mountain flight, quite a bit narrower, is from mid-May to mid-September.
Habitat Still or slow-moving waters in mostly shaded areas, such as swamps and swampy pools, wooded beaver ponds, and very slow-moving streams.

See also Habitat Account for General Wet-Hydric Forests
Behavior Males commonly perch around the margins of swampy pools and other wet areas in swamps and bottomlands. Adults typically stay close to forested areas, such as along roads through bottomlands and swamps. They usually perch on twigs of trees along the wooded edges, often 5-10 feet high. They can be quite pugnacious, with much chasing of other Great Blue Skimmers in their small territories.
Comments This is the largest of the Libellula skimmers, and though colored in pruinose pale blue like adult male Eastern Pondhawks and several other male skimmers, the male Great Blue Skimmer is separated by its very pale blue thorax (contrasting with the slightly darker abdomen), greenish-blue eyes, and white face. They can occur in swarms of a dozen or more in a very small area. This species is one of the most common dragonflies (next to Eastern Pondhawk) that one sees along roads through swamps and bottomlands, especially as seen from bridges over swampy rivers and creeks.
State Rank S5
State Status
Global Rank G5
Federal Status
Other Name
Species account update: LeGrand on 2023-01-16 18:16:33

Photo Gallery for Great Blue Skimmer   72 photos are available.
Only the most recent 30 are shown.
Other NC Galleries:    Jeff Pippen    Will Cook    Ted Wilcox
Photo 1 by: Guy McGrane

Comment: Watauga, 2022-08-09, Boone Greenway-Angel Stair wetland
Photo 2 by: Tom Howe

Comment: Swain, 2022-06-06, among vegetation at edge of wetland, female had just oviposited - female was right after ovipositing. Male collected for GRSM Twin Creeks
Photo 3 by: Tom Howe

Comment: Swain, 2022-06-06, among vegetation at edge of wetland, female had just oviposited - female was right after ovipositing. Male collected for GRSM Twin Creeks
Photo 4 by: Nora Murdock, Robert Emmott, Tom Howe, Paul Durr

Comment: Swain, 2022-06-06,
Photo 5 by: Nora Murdock

Comment: Swain, 2022-06-06, In a small wetland along Hazel Creek, Great Smoky Mountains. Other observers: , Robert Emmott, Tom Howe, Paul Durr
Photo 6 by: Paul Hart

Comment: Harnett; P, 2021-07-05, Cape Fear Shiner County Park
Photo 7 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Martin, 2021-06-19, Roanoke River at Astoria Landing Public Fishing Access, Jamesville
Photo 8 by: Jan Hansen

Comment: Orange, 2020-05-04, Mason Farm
Photo 9 by: Barbara McRae

Comment: Macon, 2019-06-26, Seen in swampy area of Little Tennessee River, Franklin (Suli Marsh)
Photo 10 by: Vin Stanton

Comment: Buncombe, 2019-06-25, Owen Park, Swannanoa - Male
Photo 11 by: John Petranka, Sally Gewalt

Comment: Yancey, 2019-05-23, Black Mountain Campground. - 2 males; 1 female ovipositing in seep.
Photo 12 by: John Petranka, Jim Petranka and party.

Comment: Avery, 2019-05-21, Pond on private property that adjoins the Blue Ridge Parkway in southern Avery County. - Male.
Photo 13 by: Will Stuart

Comment: Anson, 2019-05-17, Along GTR Road, Pee Dee NWR - This species seen multiple times along GTR.
Photo 14 by: Pete Dixon

Comment: Madison, 2019-05-13, River Road, Murray Branch Meadows
Photo 15 by: Aaron Edmonds

Comment: Harnett; C, 2019-05-11, Campbell University- Marshbanks Property
Photo 16 by: Mike Turner

Comment: Carteret, 2018-09-02, Croatan National Forest; Millis Rd.
Photo 17 by: Mike Turner

Comment: Davie, 2018-08-04, S. Yadkin River @ Cooleemee boating access - ad.males
Photo 18 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Richmond; C, 2018-07-06, Pee Dee River; 2 km stretch upstream from Diggs Tract Access, by kayak
Photo 19 by: Mike Turner

Comment: Forsyth, 2018-07-01, Winston Lake - adult males
Photo 20 by: Maria de Bruyn

Comment: Orange, 2018-06-20, Mason Farm Biological Reserve
Photo 21 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Craven, 2018-06-16, Swift Creek; 7 km section between Cool Springs Boating Access Area and NC 43 bridge, by kayak
Photo 22 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Chowan, 2018-06-09, Edenton National Fish Hatchery
Photo 23 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Currituck, 2018-06-09, pond at Currituck Community Park near Maple
Photo 24 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Perquimans, 2018-06-09, Perquimans River at NC 37 bridge
Photo 25 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Pender, 2018-05-18, Holly Shelter Game Land, dike between NE Cape Fear River and greentree impoundment
Photo 26 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Lenoir, 2017-08-01, Neuseway Nature Park, Kinston
Photo 27 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Brunswick, 2017-07-30, Ev-Henwood Nature Preserve, Winnabow
Photo 28 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Washington, 2017-06-16, Conaby Creek, from boating access area to 2.25 km upstream by kayak
Photo 29 by: John Petranka

Comment: Robeson, 2017-05-27, Lumber River at the Boardman Boating Access on US Hwy. 74. - Remarkable numbers of females and immature males, mainly perched in trees at the parking area. Only 3 males with mature coloration seen.
Photo 30 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Jones, 2017-04-28, Haywood Landing and Weetock Trail, Croatan National Forest