Leucorrhinia proxima
(Red-Waisted Whiteface)

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

   Naiad- This is a small naiad with a length of 3/4 to 7/8 inch (19 to 21 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 solid black marked with either metallic red (males) or yellow (females), primarily on the thorax and the front portion of the abdomen where it meets the thorax.

This species is found from Alaska, east across Canada to Nova Scotia, extending south as far as Washington, Wyoming, and Pennsylvania. In Idaho, it has been observed only at one pond in the mountains north of Salmon; however, it can be expected to occur at high elevations in the northern and central portions of the state.

This dragonfly can be found near marshy lakes and ponds at higher elevations.

Adult Flight Season:
Late May to mid-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. Although records are sparse, adults are believed to fly from the end of May to mid-august. They hunt 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 this to prevent other males from mating with her. She 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.