Dragonfly is Prince Baskettail

Subject: Twelve spotted Skimmer?
Location: Mount Pleasant, SC
July 12, 2016 10:10 pm
Saved this bug from the neighbor’s little dog who was trying to figure out if it was edible. Pics were taken mid-May in Mount Pleasant, SC approx. 3 mi. from the Atlantic shore. I think this is a female twelve spotted skimmer, but coloration of lateral line on abdomen (orange, not yellow) and thin size of the body makes me wonder. What do you think?
Signature: Wormkat

Dragonfly
Prince Baskettail

Dear Wormkat,
The only Dragonflies that we know of that have twelve spots on the wings are the Twelve Spotted Skimmer, which is pictured on BugGuide, and the Female Whitetail, which is also pictured on Bugguide, and though the wings on your individual looks similar to both, the body is quite different.  Perhaps one of our readers with more experience identifying Dragonflies will be able to assist in this identification.

Dragonfly
Prince Baskettail

Update:  July 14, 2016
We would like to send out a special thanks to Michael Davis, Cesar Crash and Susan B., all of whom commented and led us to the correct identification of this Prince Baskettail,
Epitheca princeps.  According to BugGuide:  “Flies constantly. Wing pattern resembles that of some skimmer, but narrow body shape is distinctive. Wings held in a slight dihedral (V) while flying.”

Thank you for the response.  I am an ecologist with a special focus on aquatic species and this one threw me for a loop… ( in my own back yard!)  Any help figuring out what this little guy is would be fantastic, I hate not knowing!!!  Thanks a million in advance and BUG ON!!!
Best Regards,
Steve Walker
Ecologist

6 thoughts on “Dragonfly is Prince Baskettail”

  1. I’m not an expert by any means, but to me it looks a lot like the prince baskettail, Epitheca princeps, which is found in Easten North America, which includes Mount Pleasant, SC.

    Reply
  2. While female and immature male twelve-spotted-skimmers look similar to that (without the white coating on the abdomen, the abdomen looks dark with yellow triangles on each segment), the eyes don’t look right to me. This dragonfly’s eyes meet at a point, while most skimmers’ eyes meet along a line down the middle.

    I think I’d agree with Michael Davis that it could be a prince baskettail.

    Reply
  3. While female and immature male twelve-spotted-skimmers look similar to that (without the white coating on the abdomen, the abdomen looks dark with yellow triangles on each segment), the eyes don’t look right to me. This dragonfly’s eyes meet at a point, while most skimmers’ eyes meet along a line down the middle.

    I think I’d agree with Michael Davis that it could be a prince baskettail.

    Reply

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