In the Pacific Northwest, this species is active from April to October and can be found in and around ponds, lakes, marshes or slow moving streams in low elevations. It prefers water with a vegetated edge.
Eight-spotted Skimmers prey on insects and prefer mosquitoes, termites, butterflies, mayflies and other flying insects.
They will mate in the air and the females proceed to lay their eggs in the water either in a single location or many. The nymphs spend their time underwater breathing through gills where they hunt for prey such as aquatic insects, tadpoles and even small fish. Their mouthparts as a nymph are completely different from those they’ll have as adults and contain a set of pinchers attached to a plate which shoots out at prey which is then grabbed by the pinchers and pulled back to the mouthparts.
This dragonfly’s name is derived from its markings. Each of their four wings contains large black markings, which alternate with clear and white markings.The males have dark faces and thoraxes, but their abdomens are white or light blue and powdery, a trait commonly known as pruinosity. The females have the same wing markings, but their faces are yellow/brown with brown eyes and their bodies are also brown with yellow markings along the sides of their abdomens.
Female observed: May 4, 2022
Male observed: July 19, 2022