Black and White Dragonflies: Species, Images, and Meanings

Many types of dragonflies are black and white. This color combination represents dragonflies across North America.

These insects are common in the US and Canada. They are seen in the highest numbers East of The Rocky Mountains.

A few species are also seen West of these mountains.

White and black colors can be seen on the body or the wings.

Spotted black wings often name many dragonfly species.

Types of Black And White Dragonflies

Here are some of the most common dragonflies that have black and white colors among the sexes or on males alone.

1. Common Whitetail

Common Whitetail

Common Whitetails (Plathemis Lydia) get their name from their mostly white body, in the case of the males.

The male dragonfly has a white body and transparent wings with just a few black sections.

Females of the species have brown bodies with yellow marks along the sides. They also have transparent wings with dark brown patches.

You can find this species in various habitats across North America, mainly next to ponds and rivers.

It’s here that the species is found eating various types of small insects such as mosquitoes.

Growing to an average size of 2 inches, the Common Whitetail is seen around water sources in fields and valleys with a reduced presence at higher altitudes.

2. Widow Skimmer

Widow Skimmer

Widow Skimmers (Libellula Luctuosa) are known for their blue hue metallic color on the body. This species has a large head that’s mostly dark.

Females have a dark brown to black body with yellow coloring on the sides.

Both males and females have transparent forewings and hindwings.

Like Common Whitetails, Widow Skimmers have a wide presence in North America. They are seen both in the US and in Canada.

This species has a limited range at high altitude.

It feeds on mosquitoes on lakes, streams, and ponds.

3. Twelve-spotted Skimmer

Twelve-spotted Skimmer

Predominant across Canada, this species (Libellula Pulchella) is known for having a large body.

It can grow up to a size of 2 inches and it bears a name inspired by the numerous white spots across its wings.

The male Twelve-spotted Skimmer has transparent wings with alternating black and white spots. Both the forewings and the hindwings show these spots.

The white coloring is also visible on the lower body of the species while its head is black.

Females have dark brown bodies with transparent wings that show dark brown to black spots but which lack the white spots seen in males.

Yellow bands are also seen on the sides of the body.

4. Chalk-fronted Corporal

Chalk-fronted Corporal

This species (Ladona Julia) is native to Northern US territories. It’s also seen in some regions of Southern Canada.

The dragonfly begins life as a colorful species. Its females are orange and pink at first.

Males and females start to darken with time.

This is why male Chalk-fronted Corporals are almost completely black at maturity. Most mature females are also dark brown.

Mosquitoes and other biting insects are part of the common diet of Chalk-fronted Corporals.

The name of the species comes from the white sections seen on its body.

2 white sections are seen just behind the head. The body area behind the shoulders is also white in males.

5. Eight-spotted Skimmer

Eight-spotted Skimmer

Eight-spotted Skimmers (Libellula Forensis) get their names from their black spots. Black and white spots are seen on its forewings and hindwings.

Both males and females have black and white spots, which isn’t typical with other dragonflies.

Growing to a large size of up to 50mm, this species has a white body.

Alternating black and white spots are distinguished on their forewings and hindwings.

The range of the insects is limited to areas West of the Rocky Mountains but not on the mountains themselves.

These dragonflies are only found across valleys in moist areas where there are plenty of mosquitoes and insects to feed on.

6. Desert Whitetail

Desert Whitetail

Desert Whitetail dragonflies (Plathemis Subornata) are found across the Southern US states and their deserts. They live next to water sources in deserts.

The species might live in some of the warmest parts of North America but it’s only active until September.

You can identify the species by its above-average size as Desert Whitetails can grow to a size of up to 3 inches.

These insects are also known for having white translucent wings with dark brown to black patches and transparent wing tips.

White and light gray are the dominant colors on the body.

7. Plateau Dragonlet

Plateau Dragonlet

This species of dragonflies (Erythrodiplax Basifusca) grow to an average length of 50mm.

It has fully transparent wings, unlike most other dragonflies in North America.

You can further identify the species by its dark brown head and its brown-gray shoulders. Most of its abdomen is white.

The species is found around ponds, lakes, pools, streams, and rivers in North America.

8. White Corporal

Ladona Exusta
White Corporal

White Corporals (Ladona Exusta) are named after the white sections on the body of the male. The female White Corporal is almost completely dark brown to black.

Both male and female White Corporals have transparent wings.

The specie is common across Eastern North America. It can be found next to the water where it looks for small insects such as mites and mosquitoes.

Spiritual Meanings of Black and White Dragonflies

Dragonflies are considered beautiful colorful insects. Black and white dragonflies have a deeper spiritual meaning than simply colored dragonflies.

1. Fairness

White and black color combinations in equal measures symbolize fairness.

A fair element of life is always easy to guide around. It might be time to assess if you’re a fair person yourself or if others are fair to you whenever you see these dragonflies.

The black and white fairness principles are based on yin and yang principles.

Since black and white dragonflies have such contrasting colors they are most commonly tied to equality or fairness.

2. Clarity

Contrasting colors on these dragonflies are also tied to the idea of clarity. You can see the world in different colors but this is not always easy for you.

Some complicated situations might simply require seeing the world in black and white.

Personal finance is one of the areas where black-and-white or binary thinking can help. Instead of spending money on things that don’t add value to your life, you might as well think about saving or investing.

Seeing black and white insects such as black and white dragonflies is a good opportunity to think about where clear thinking get be of help in your life.

Not everybody is interested in complex solutions to everyday problems. In this case, black or white solutions or already proven solutions might be the way to go.

3. Balance

Black and white symbolize balance when seen together. This symbolism builds on clarity.

You need to be a balanced person to think clearly.

Seeing black and white dragonflies means that you might need more balance in your life.

You can assess the areas where some of your impulsive decisions might benefit from balance.

Love life, careers, and even purchasing decisions are all areas where balance can play a key role.

Dragonflies themselves are balanced insects that rarely take unnecessary risks such as flying too far out from a water source where food awaits.

You can take fewer risks as a stepping stone toward a more balanced life.

Abiding by balanced reactions or staying away from extreme reactions is another method you can use for a balanced life.

4. Different opinions

Black and white color combinations sometimes represent 2 sides of the same coin.

You might need to learn how to respect different opinions on a given topic or situation whenever you see black and white dragonflies.

Respecting a different opinion doesn’t involve changing your own opinions and beliefs. This is why black and white color combinations show how you can listen to others without imposing your own beliefs.

Seeing any type of black and white insect involves having a look at whether you’re truly interested in hearing different opinions on a problem, at work, or in your personal life.

5. New beginnings

Black is the color of death while white symbolizes purity. Together, this color combination is for those who might need new beginnings.

You might be contemplating a new job or about moving. Seeing a black and white dragonfly can symbolize that you should think about new beginnings properly.

Dreaming about a black and white dragonfly is certainly tied to new beginnings, new opportunities, and hope.

You might be facing adversity in your personal life or at work. All of these adversities can be seen in a new light. You might be interested in seeing some of these challenges as opportunities for growth.

Changing your location, approach, or even the people in your social circle can all be steps towards new beginnings.

6. Maturity

Black and white color combinations represent maturity. Some of the most established dragonflies in North America are black and white.

These species have stable numbers and aren’t under threat also because they’re mature.

Without taking unnecessary risks, these insects are known to survive for a long time in their natural habitats.

They know they can only find food at low elevations and in valleys and they don’t try to expand their habitat towards higher altitudes.

This type of maturity can also represent an example of your life. You might be interested in how things are progressing in your life without getting too emotional.

Taking rational decisions or simply thinking things out before you act is part of being a mature person. These are also good steps towards becoming more mature.

Seeing a black and white dragonfly is a good time to become more mature.

7. Beauty

One of the most overlooked symbolisms of black and white dragonflies is tied to beauty.

You might only see black and white dragonflies once to understand how beauty can be simple.

While some dragonflies are blue or brown, black and white species have a certain elegance to them that other species don’t.

Seeing one of these dragonflies is a good time to look at what’s most beautiful in your life.

It can be an item, a place, or even a person. You might need to rediscover the beauty in your life to truly appreciate it once more.

Dreaming about black and white dragonflies is a good opportunity to think about the beautiful aspects of your life to appreciate them to their true value once more.

Beautiful black and white dragonflies are symbols of simple beauty.

8. Duality

The idea of duality has been debated for a long time. Black and white colors represent the duality of life. Each situation is viewed one way by a person and another way by another person.

Both positive and negative events might be interpreted differently by every person.

This is why you might need to think about the deeper meaning of certain events such as childbirth or the loss of a person.

There’s duality in each of these situations. Childbirth is a happy time but also a time for responsibility.

Losing a person is a time of mourning but also a time for new beginnings.

Dreaming about black and white dragonflies is a good time to think about the duality of certain marking situations in your life.


North America is home to a few black and white dragonflies.

It’s estimated over 500 species of dragonflies are native to North America and Canada from the thousands of species found around the world.

A handful of these species are black and white.

These black and white colors are specific to the body or the wings of dragonflies.

These insects often show spotted wings where white and black marks have a contrasting nature.

White and black sections across the body also represent distinguishing physical characteristics as it’s otherwise difficult to tell many dragonfly species apart.

Black and white dragonflies in North America have a size that ranges between 2 to 2.6 inches on average. Colors make them easier to distinguish as most species are about the same size.

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