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 was uncommon in our area until 2019. In 2019, there was a large influx of Great Blue Skimmers across 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. 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 Blue Skimmers (above), but Slaty Skimmers are noticeably smaller. This Slaty Skimmer has a white triangular point on top of the white patch on her 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 white faces. 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 the individual at left in Beavercreek on June 30th (the first Spangled Skimmer I have seen in Greene County). 

Another Slaty Skimmer, showing the characteristic white triangular point above the white patch, 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.