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Libellula depressa.jpg
Broad-bodied Chaser
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Odonata
Family: Libellulidae
Genus: Libellula
Linnaeus, 1758

See text

For the aircraft, see Miles Libellula.

Libellula is a genus of dragonflies, commonly called Skimmers, in the family Libellulidae, distributed throughout the temperate zone of the Northern Hemisphere. Most species are found in the United States, where they are the best-known large dragonflies, often seen flying over freshwater ponds in summer. Many have showy wing patterns.[1]

The taxa Ladona (Corporals) and Plathemis (Whitetails) have been considered as synonyms of Libellula, subgenera, or separate genera by different authorities. Recent phylogenetic analysis has supported their status as either subgenera or full genera.[2][3]


Slaty Skimmer, Libellula incesta
Twelve-spotted Skimmer, Libellula pulchella

Except as otherwise noted, species are native to North America.[4]




  1. ^ Needham, James G.; Minter J. Westfall, Jr. and Michael L. May (2000). Dragonflies of North America (rev. ed.). Gainesville, FL: Scientific Publishers. pp. 700–702. ISBN 0-945417-94-2. 
  2. ^ Artiss T, Schultz TR, Polhemus DA, Simon C (2001). "Molecular phylogenetic analysis of the dragonfly genera Libellula, Ladona, and Plathemis (Odonata: Libellulidae) based on mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase I and 16S rRNA sequence data". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 18 (3): 348–61. doi:10.1006/mpev.2000.0867. PMID 11277629. 
  3. ^ Kambhampati, Srinivas; Charlton, Ralph E. (1999). "Phylogenetic relationship among Libellula, Ladona and Plathemis (Odonata: Libellulidae) based on DNA sequence of mitochondrial 16S rRNA gene". Systematic Entomology 24 (1): 37–49. doi:10.1046/j.1365-3113.1999.00066.x. 
  4. ^ Libellula,
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l The Paleobiology Database