slender spreadwing

(Lestes rectangularis)

Conservation Status
slender spreadwing
Photo by Alfredo Colon
  IUCN Red List

LC - Least Concern

     
  NatureServe

N5 - Secure

SNR - Unranked

     
  Minnesota

not listed

     
           
           
           
 
Description
 
 

Slender spreadwing is one of the most common and one of the most easily recognized damselflies in Minnesota. It occurs in the United States from the East Coast to the Great Plains and in adjacent Canadian provinces. It is found usually in forests in partially shaded areas in marshes, ponds, lakes, and still backwaters of slow streams.

Adults are 17 16 to 2 (37 to 53 mm) long and have an extremely elongated abdomen.

The male thorax is dark iridescent brown with yellow sides and wide, usually blue, sometimes grayish, shoulder stripes. The abdomen is very long, about twice as long as the wings. It is dark iridescent brown above with yellow on the sides. Unlike on other spreadwings, the last two segments of the abdomen usually do not have a conspicuous gray waxy bloom (pruinescence). The wings are clear with a dark spot (stigma) near the tip and a pale vein around the tip. As the damselfly ages the abdomen develops pruinosity obscuring the base colors.

The female thorax is dark brown with yellow sides and light brown shoulder stripes. The abdomen is shorter and stockier but still very long.

 
     
 

Size

 
 

Total Length: 17 16 to 2 (37 to 53 mm)

 
     
 

Similar Species

 
     
     
 
Habitat
 
 

Partially shaded marshes, ponds, lakes, and still backwaters of slow streams; usually in forests

 
     
 
Biology
 
 

Season

 
 

Mid-June to mid-September

 
     
 

Behavior

 
 

The wings are held spread at about a 45° angle when at rest.

 
     
 

Life Cycle

 
 

Eggs are laid above water in the stems of emergent plants. Eggs overwinter and hatch in the spring.

 
     
 

Nymph Food

 
 

 

 
     
 

Adult Food

 
 

 

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

18, 24, 27, 29, 30.

 
  8/3/2019      
         
 

Occurrence

 
 

Common

 
         
 
Taxonomy
 
 

Order

Odonata (dragonflies and damselflies)  
 

Suborder

Zygoptera (damselflies)  
 

Superfamily

Lestoidea  
 

Family

Lestidae (spread-winged damselflies)  
 

Genus

Lestes  
       
 

Synonyms

 
 

 

 
       
 

Common Names

 
 

slender spreadwing

 
       

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Pruinescence

A waxy or powdery bloom that covers the underlying coloration and gives a dusty or frosty appearance.

 

Stigma

In plants, the portion of the female part of the flower that is receptive to pollen. In Lepidoptera, an area of specialized scent scales on the forewing of some skippers, hairstreaks, and moths. In other insects, a thickened, dark, or opaque cell on the leading edge of the wing.

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
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Alfredo Colon

 
    slender spreadwing   slender spreadwing  
           
    slender spreadwing      
 

Dan W. Andree

 
  It was in an open grassy type area near a creek in rural Norman County north of Twin Valley, Mn.   slender spreadwing  
           
    slender spreadwing   slender spreadwing  
           
 
MinnesotaSeasons.com Photos
 
         
           
           

 

Camera

     
 
Slideshows
 
Slender Spreadwing (Lestes rectangularis)
Andree Reno Sanborn
  Slender Spreadwing (Lestes rectangularis)  
     

 

slideshow

       
 
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Other Videos
 
  Slender Spreadwing (Lestidae: Lestes rectangularis) Mating
Carl Barrentine
 
   
 
About

Published on Aug 12, 2010

Photographed at the Turtle River State Park, North Dakota (11 August 2010).

 
       

 

Camcorder

 
 
Visitor Sightings
 
           
 

Report a sighting of this insect.

 
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  Alfredo Colon
10/6/2019

Location: Woodbury, Minnesota

slender spreadwing  
  Dan W. Andree
7/21/2019

Location: rural Norman County north of Twin Valley, Mn.

It was in an open grassy type area near a creek

slender spreadwing  
           
 
MinnesotaSeasons.com Sightings
 
 

 

 

 

 

Binoculars


Created: 8/3/2019

Last Updated:

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