Four-spotted Skimmer

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By Skip Via

This four-spotted skimmer (female, I think) was observed on May 18 2021 perched on some chives in our garden. This dragonfly is not at all uncommon here, but it IS uncommonly beautiful.

Four-spotted skimmers appear fairly early in the spring. Their most obvious identifying marks are the four dark spots and the yellow streaks on their leading wings. Like most dragonflies, they prefer to be around water, so I was a little surprised to see one at this location, but apparently adults will fly great distances to obtain food. The main food for adults consists of a variety of soft-bodied flying insects—especially flies and mosquitoes—so they are beneficial to have around. Larval skimmers will eat other insect larvae.

This dragonfly is not only common here in Montana. They are widely distributed from South America to the Yukon, across Europe, Asia and Africa.

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