chalk-fronted corporal

(Ladona julia)

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

not yet assessed

chalk-fronted corporal


N5 - Secure

SNR - Unranked


not listed


Common, often abundant


Late May to early August


Lakes, ponds, marshes, peat bogs, slow streams.


Wingspan: 3

Total Length: 1 to 113 16


This is a medium-sized skimmer, 1 to 113 16 long.

Juveniles are light orangish-brown. There is a broad, dark stripe down the top of the abdomen and a pair of pale “shoulder” stripes on the top of the thorax. There is a small, triangular, brown patch at the base of the hindwing, where the wing attaches to the thorax. Aside from the basal patch and the stigma, the wing is clear. The face is brown and the forehead is gray.

As they mature, they develop a waxy bloom (pruinescence) at segments 2 through 4 or 5 of the abdomen. On males, the pruinescence is white and the abdomen turns black. On females, the pruinescence is gray and the abdomen turns dark brown. Males also develop two stripes of white pruinescence, “corporal stripes”, on the top of their thorax. Females have a shorter, blunt abdomen, about as long as the wing.


Common whitetail (Libellula lydia) wings have a broad, dark band.

Frosted whiteface (Leucorrhinia frigida) is smaller and more slender.

Widow skimmer (Libellula luctuosa) wings are boldly patterned, not clear.

Naiad Food

Mosquito larvae, mayfly naiads, other aquatic fly larvae, and freshwater shrimp.

Adult Food

Mosquitoes, flies, butterflies, moths, mayflies, and flying ants or termites, and other soft-bodied flying insects.

Life Cycle

The female hovers just above the surface of shallow water, dips the tip of her abdomen into the water, and deposits the eggs. The male does not guard the female as she deposits her eggs.

The naiads live on the bottom in a layer of decaying vegetation. They emerge as adults at night.


Adults perch horizontally on the ground, on objects in water, or on other flat surfaces, and fly up to snatch prey.

Distribution Distribution Map   Sources: 7, 16, 18.

Most authors separate corporals as a separate species, Ladona. Some consider them a subgenus of the genus Libellula. Others consider Ladona a synonym of Libellula.



Odonata (dragonflies and damselflies)






Anisoptera (dragonflies)






Libellulidae (skimmers)


Libellula julia


chalk-fronted corporal









A waxy bloom that covers the underlying coloration and gives a dusty or frosty appearance.



In plants, the portion of the female part of the flower that is receptive to pollen. In Lepidoptera, an area of specialized scent scales on the forewing of some skippers, hairstreaks, and moths. In Odonata, a thickened, dark or opaque cell near the tip of the wing on the leading edge.






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  chalk-fronted corporal   chalk-fronted corporal
  chalk-fronted corporal   chalk-fronted corporal
  chalk-fronted corporal    


  chalk-fronted corporal   chalk-fronted corporal
  chalk-fronted corporal   chalk-fronted corporal
  chalk-fronted corporal    


  chalk-fronted corporal   chalk-fronted corporal



  Chalk-fronted Corporal (Ladona julia)
Bill Keim
  Chalk-fronted Corporal (Ladona julia)  
  Chalk-fronted Corporal
Victor Fazio
  Chalk-fronted Corporal  



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Other Videos
  Chalk-fronted Corporal (Libellulidae: Ladona julia) Male
Carl Barrentine

Uploaded on Jul 19, 2010

Photographed at Middle Thompson Lake, Kootenai National Forest, Montana (15 July 2010). Go here to learn more about this species:

  Uploaded on Jun 10, 2011
Carl Barrentine

Uploaded on Jun 10, 2011

A common skimmer just now. Photographed at the Rydell NWR, Minnesota (09 June 2011).

  Ladona julia

Published on Dec 31, 2013

Chalk-fronted Corporal dragonfly

  Ladona julia at Mundy Lake, Coquitlam, BC

Published on Jul 11, 2012

Chalk-fronted Corporal dragonfly at Mundy Lake, Coquitlam, BC. A few years ago on a visit to Mundy Lake in the summer I noted that dragonflies frequently land on the same viewpoint repeatedly. I stood for a few moments at the edge of the lake with one finger pointed to the sky. A dragonfly alighted on the tip of my finger then flew off and came back to the tip of my finger. I walked further along the trail to another lake viewpoint where a woman and her young daughter were sitting. As they glanced in my direction a dragonfly came flitting along. I pointed at the dragonfly and the dragonfly landed on the tip of my finger. Their mouths dropped open in surprise and they asked me how I did that.

( Ladona julia ) Chalk-fronted Corporal July 11, 2012




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