« Previous Species | Next Species » | Photos
Blue Corporal



Search For More Images

Ladona deplanata

Rambur, 1842


Order Odonata
Suborder Anisoptera
Superfamily Libelluloidea
Family Libellulidae
Genus Ladona
Species deplanata (Rambur, 1842) [Libellula]


Identification

This is a brown moderate-sized southeastern species with a notable clear streak running through the basal brown spot in all wings. Its face is light tan and darkens with age. The vertex is black and shallowly emarginate. The thorax is brown with two distinct white stripes in front resembling a corporal's stripes. The wings are clear, with only a basal brown area as described above and brown pterostigmata. The legs are brown. The abdomen is strongly depressed and brown with a black middorsal stripe and carinae outlined in black. The front of the thorax and abdomen develop a pruinose appearance, becoming steel blue, in mature males.

Size

Total length: 31-35 mm; abdomen: 19-24 mm; hindwing: 22-26 mm.

Similar Species

Little Blue Dragonlet (Erythrodiplax miniscula ) is much smaller and lacks a dark area basally in the wings and stripes on the front of the thorax. Mature Eastern Pondhawks (Erythemis simplicicollis ) have a green face and lack wing markings and frontal thoracic stripes.

Habitat

Sloughs, ponds, lakes, borrow pits and open areas of slow streams often with sandy bottoms.

Discussion

This is one of the few skimmers that may be commonly seen perching on the ground with the wings depressed. They will also perch vertically on trees exposed to sunlight in the late afternoon, probably using the depressed abdomen as a heat collector. This and other behaviors make it similar to Whitetails (Plathemis ) in habit. It emerges in the early spring for a relatively short time. Males patrol the edges of ponds and lakes, sometimes resting on floating debris or low on vegetation. They have a low fluttering flight occasionally interrupted by hovering. Mating occurs on the wing and females lay eggs immediately after while guarded by the male. They lay eggs by short dips of the abdomen to the water. Females are not often encountered near the water except to mate or lay eggs. This species is unusual among most skimmers in the south in that it overwinters as a final instar larva.

Distribution

Eastern U.S. from Maine to Texas.