This high flying dragonfly is a common sight at the BFEC ponds from May through September. It tends to spend most of its time patrolling the air space above the ponds. The wings of both males and females have three dark spots. In mature males the spots are seperated by white patches and there are additonal white spots under the dark spots at the base of the hind wing. The wing pattern of females make them difficult to distinguish from female Common Whitetail. The major difference is size. Female 12-Spotted Skimmers are slightly larger and their abdomen tapers evenly for the entire length. In the Common Whitetail the female abdomen is uniform in width until the final three segments where it tapers abruptly.
Although this is a major predator, note that it is also a potential prey item for birds and perhaps even larger dragonflies like the Green Darner. Note the missing portion of wing membrane. A near miss???