FEMALE SkimmerS

Female Great Blue Skimmer, found at Beavercreek Wildlife Area on July 23, 2017. Great Blue Skimmers live in shaded wetlands and swamps. This species is usually uncommon in our area (except for 2019, which was a banner year for Great Blue Skimmers in the state of Ohio). 

Another view of the female Great Blue Skimmer (same individual as above). These are our largest skimmers and can be identified by size alone in the field. But in photos, it can be tricky to distinguish them from female Slaty Skimmers. Notice that the white shoulder patch on this Great Blue Skimmer reaches all the way to the wing base. The upper legs are mostly pale and the face is white. 

This is a teneral Slaty Skimmer. Teneral and female Slaty Skimmers look similar to female Great Blues, but Slaty Skimmers are noticeably smaller. This Slaty Skimmer has a white triangular point on top of the white patch on the thorax (just below the wing base). Great Blue Skimmers do not have this triangular point. Also, Slaty Skimmers usually have a tan face, while Great Blue Skimmers have a white face. Slaty Skimmers have their upper legs mostly black, and they usually have less black on their wingtips than Great Blue Skimmers.  

This is a female Spangled Skimmer. Females of this species look similar to the two species above, but their wing stigmas are a distinctive feature. Both male and female Spangled Skimmers have a half-white, half-black stigma on each wing, which is unique for this species in our area. I photographed this individual in Beavercreek on June 30th.

Another Slaty Skimmer, showing the characteristic white triangular point above the white patch on its thorax, along with black legs and tan face. 

This is a newly-emerged Spangled Skimmer at the Caesar Creek Wildlife Area. Again, notice the half-white and half-black stigma on each wing.