Erika and I walked in the Carleton College arboretum on Friday. This female Twelve-spotted Skimmer took a perch, near the ground at the edge of our grassy path. The dragonfly repeatedly took flight, but always returned to its original twig.
Female Twelve-spots look similar to female Common Whitetails. The Twelve-spots have more solid yellow stripes down their abdomens, unlike the yellow spots on the whitetail. Male Twelve-spots are distinctive, with white and black spots running down their wings. Twelve-spotted Skimmers are found from southern Canada, across almost all of the United States, and into Mexico. They are often common and easy to see as they defend territories over ponds and marshes.