The flight season of the widow skimmer, when the adults are active, can vary between April and November throughout its range (5).
The male widow skimmer defends a large territory, regularly partaking in territorial disputes and chases with other males, as well as with other dragonfly species. Occasionally, a group of males will defend a territory, which has one dominant male who is most likely to mate (5).
Copulation lasts for between 10 and 20 seconds and occurs both in flight and at rest, and is followed the female depositing the fertilised eggs into water (5). While the female deposits the eggs, the male will occasionally guard the female to guarantee the eggs are fertilised using his sperm, by ensuring no further copulation occurs with other males (5) (7). Widow skimmer larvae are aquatic and pass through a number of developmental stages until they finally crawl to the shore and break open the skin, revealing a fully-formed adult (2) (7).
The diet of the adult widow skimmer consists of small flying insects, which are hunted from an elevated perch (2). All dragonfly larvae are voracious predators and catch their prey using specialised mouthparts, which extend forward rapidly, grip their aquatic prey and pull it into the larva’s mouth (8).