The flight period of the black-tailed skimmer is between October and May in the South African part of its range (2), and between March and June in Namibia. Peak population numbers occur around mid-January (5).
Little is known about the biology of the black-tailed skimmer. However, like most other dragonflies, it is likely to be an opportunistic predator, detecting its mainly insect-based prey by sight (6).
As in other dragonflies, breeding begins with the male grasping the female by the head using a pair of claspers on the tip of the abdomen. If the mating is successful, the female lays a clutch of eggs immediately. In some species, the male may guard the female while the eggs are laid, to prevent other males from mating with her (6).
The black-tailed skimmer, like all dragonflies, begins life as an aquatic larva. The larva goes through many stages of development before a final moult occurs, at which time the larva leaves the water and metamorphoses into an adult. After this, there is a maturation period during which the adult colouration develops and the wings harden, enabling the adult dragonfly to fly (6). Larval development is thought to take about eight months in this species (3).