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Ladona julia
Chalk-Fronted Corporal; Chalk-Fronted Skimmer
Family: Libellulidae
Species account author: Robert Cannings.
Extracted from Introducing the Dragonflies of British Columbia and the Yukon (2002)


© Ian Lane     (Photo ID #1207)


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Distribution of Ladona julia in British Columbia.
(Click on the map to view a larger version.)
Source: (for the static map) RBCM and BCCDC 2004 ©

Species Information


Mostly brown. Named “corporal” because immatures have a pair of pale stripes on the top of the thorax; they also have a dark stripe on top of the abdomen. Mature adults are “chalk-fronted” with distinctive pale pruinescence on the front of the thorax, as well as the base of abdomen – white on males, grey on females. The wings are clear except for small, dark marks at the bases, those on the hindwings are triangular. Length: ♂ 42 mm, ♀ 40 mm.

Flight Period

B.C., late May to early September (generally most common early in the summer).

Genus Description

A small genus closely related to, and often included in, Libellula. Ladona has six species, three of them in North America. They are medium-sized brown dragonflies with dark marks or patches at the bases of the wings and patterned pruinescence in mature males. Adults typically perch on the ground, on rocks and on logs rather than on vegetation, as most Libellula species usually do.


Family Description

The largest dragonfly family in our region – 24 species in eight genera live here and one other species in another genus is a rare visitor. They come in many sizes and colours, many with bold wing markings or coloured veins. Their eyes meet broadly on top of the head. The anal loop in the hindwing is distinctive: foot-shaped with a long toe. Most common around ponds, marshy lakeshores and sluggish streams, the adults dart about and most species spend a lot of time perched horizontally in the sun. Females lay eggs alone or in the company of guarding males. Most dip the tip of their abdomen into the water when releasing the eggs, but some will tap or splash the eggs into wet mud or moss, or simply flick them into a dry pond basin. Some larvae, like those of the emeralds, move sluggishly or squat on the bottom mud; others climb in vegetation.
Field Notes

Found around boggy forest ponds and swampy lake bays; favours slightly acidic waters, where it can be surprisingly abundant. Unlike some of our other king skimmers, it often rests on rocks, logs, floating waterlily leaves or the bare ground and can be tame. Many experts place this species in the genus Ladona.


Transition. Widespread in the southern half of B.C.

Status Information

Origin StatusProvincial StatusBC List
(Red Blue List)
NativeS5YellowNot Listed

BC Ministry of Environment: BC Species and Ecosystems Explorer--the authoritative source for conservation information in British Columbia.