Leucorrhinia intacta
(Dot-tailed Whiteface)

Order: Odonata
Suborder: Anisoptera
Order Description:
Family: Libellulidae
Family Description: Whiteface

   Naiad- This is a small naiad with a length of 9/16 to 3/4 inch (14-19 mm). The abdomen is rounded, giving it a short, stocky appearance known as the sprawler form. It is brown and marked with either three dark stripes or two rows of dark spots running the length of the underside of the abdomen. There are needle-like hooks on the top of abdominal segments three through eight, and a single, rear-facing spine on each side of abdominal segments eight and nine.
   Adult- This is a small dragonfly with a length of 1 5/16 to 1 7/16 inches (33 to 36 mm). The face is creamy white, and the thorax and abdomen are generally solid black, marked only with a single yellow spot on the top of abdominal segment seven.

This species is found from British Columbia east to Manitoba, extending south as far as northern California, South Dakota, and Pennsylvania. It occurs throughout Idaho at lower to middle elevations.

This dragonfly can be found near marshy lakes and ponds, especially those with heavy vegetation.

Adult Flight Season:
Early June to early August

   Naiad- Naiads feed on a wide variety of aquatic insects, such as mosquito larvae, other aquatic fly larvae, mayfly larvae, and freshwater shrimp. They will also eat small fish and tadpoles.
   Adult- The dragonfly will eat almost any soft-bodied flying insect including mosquitoes, flies, butterflies, moths, mayflies, and flying ants or termites.

The naiads live in submerged vegetation. They do not actively pursue prey but wait for it to pass by, a strategy which affords them protection from other predators. Naiads emerge as adults at night. Adults generally fly from early June to early August. This species prefers warmer habitats than most Whitefaces, and is often found sitting on lily pads in heavily vegetated ponds. It hunts from perches on shoreline vegetation.

After mating, a male will actively guard a female with whom he has mated by flying above her while she lays her eggs. He apparently does ths to prevent other males from mating with her. The female lays her eggs by dipping the tip of her abdomen in the water while hovering just above its surface.

Populations are widespread, abundant, and secure.
Status: Unprotected nongame species
Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S?

Corbet, P. S. 1999. Dragonflies: Behavior and Ecology of Odonata. Cornell University Press, Ithaca, New York, USA, 829pp.

Logan, E. R. 1967. The Odonata of Idaho. Unpublished M. S. thesis. University of Idaho, Moscow, Idaho, USA, 105 pp.

Needham, J. G. and M. J. Westfall. 1955. Dragonflies of North America. University of California Press, Berkely, California, USA, 615 pp.

Paulson, D. R. 1999. Dragonflies of Washington. Seattle Audubon Society, Seattle, Washington, USA, 32 pp.

Walker, E. M. and P. S. Corbet. 1975. The Odonata of Canada and Alaska, Vol. III. University of Toronto Press, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, 307 pp.

Written by Mark Lung and Stefan Sommer, 2001
Photos by Dennis Paulson, 2001
Design by Ean Harker, 2001.