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Four Spot Skimmer Dragonfly (Libellula quadrimaculata)

Living near ponds and rivers, the four spot skimmer sometimes strays to open woods. The naiad feeds on small aquatic insects while the adult eats small flying insects. The adult flying season is from early April to mid-August. Distinctive features include a small brown patch on the middle of the leading edge of each wing, yellow markings on the sides of the abdomen and a dark brown patch at the base of the wings. Alaska adopted the four spot skimmer dragonfly in 1995 after a campaign by students from the Auntie Mary Nicoli Elementary School in Aniak. The dragonfly’s ability to fly forward and backward as well as to hover has been compared to the maneuvering of the bush helicopter.