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Common whitetail (female)

Plathemis lydia


The male's chunky white body (about 5 cm long), combined with the brownish-black bands on its otherwise translucent wings, give it a checkered look. Females have a brown body and a different pattern of wing spots, closely resembling that of female Libellula pulchella, the Twelve-spotted Skimmer. Whitetail females can be distinguished by their smaller size, shorter bodies, and white zigzag abdominal stripes.


The Common Whitetail can be seen hawking for mosquitoes and other small flying insects over ponds, marshes, and slow-moving rivers in most regions except the higher mountain regions. Periods of activity vary between regions.

1 Species ID Suggestions

Common Whitetail
Plathemis lydia Common Whitetail

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Jake Barnes
Jake Barnes 6 years ago

That's interesting. Thank you for the help

Gordon Dietzman
Gordon Dietzman 6 years ago

This happens is a female Common Whitetail. The males start off looking like this as well, but become increasingly pruinose (white or gray) as they mature. They also have a different wing pattern.

Jake Barnes
Spotted by
Jake Barnes

Prairie View, Texas, USA

Lat: 30.24, Long: -95.51

Spotted on Jul 1, 2012
Submitted on Jul 1, 2012

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