spotted spreadwing

(Lestes congener)

               
Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

LC - Least Concern

Xxxxxxxxxx

 

NatureServe

N5 - Secure

SNR - Unranked

Minnesota

not listed

Occurrence

Common

Flight/Season

Mid-July to late October

Habitat

Edges of ponds and lakes, wetlands

Photo by Scott Bemman
Size

Total Length: 1¼ to 1 (32 to 42 mm)

 
 
Identification

Spotted Spreadwing is a common, small, late-flying damselfly. It occurs across the United States and southern Canada except in the southeast. It is absent from the southeastern states from North Carolina to Florida west to Kansas and Texas. It is found from mid-July to late October at the edges of lakes and ponds, by slow streams, and in seasonal and permanent wetlands.

Adults are 1¼ to 1 (32 to 42 mm) long and stocky.

The upperside of the thorax of the male is black with bronze iridescence, a thin pale stripe in the center (dorsal stripe), and a thin pale shoulder stripe on each side. The sides of the thorax are pale whitish-gray. On each side there is a pair of prominent dark spots on the lower thorax that gives this damselfly its common name. The abdomen is slender, black with bronze iridescence above, brown or pale below. The last two abdominal segments have a conspicuous, gray, powdery coating (pruinescence). The wings are clear except for a single dark cell (stigma) near the tip. The legs are long and slender. The head is black and the compound eyes are blue. As the male ages it develops a white powdery coating on the thorax, on the first two abdominal segments, and on the sides and underside of abdominal segments 6 through 8.

On the female the head and eyes are brown, the upper side of the thorax is dark brown, and the abdomen is thicker. The ovipositor is short and does not extend beyond the tip of the abdomen.

 
Similar
Species

 

 
Larval Food

 

 
Adult Food

 

 
Life Cycle

Eggs are laid above water in the dried stems of bulrushes. Eggs overwinter and hatch in late spring.

 
Behavior

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

 
Distribution Distribution Map  

Sources:, 18, 24, 27, 29, 30, 72, 82.

 
Comments

 

 
Taxonomy

Order:

Odonata (dragonflies and damselflies)

 

Suborder:

Zygoptera (damselflies)

 

Superfamily:

Lestoidea

 

Family:

Lestidae (spread-winged damselflies)

 
Synonyms

 

 
Common
Names

spotted 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 Odonata, a thickened, dark or opaque cell near the tip of the wing on the leading edge.

 

 

 

 

 

       
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Scott Bemman
       
  spotted spreadwing    
       
Alfredo Colon
       
  spotted spreadwing    
       
       
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Other Videos
 
  Lestes congener, male (Dragonfly) Wetlands Park-LV-NV-USA 10 8 2018 Antonio Silveira
Antonio Silveira
 
   
 
About

Aug 12, 2018

Dragonflies of Nevada-USA by Antonio Silveira
Lestes congener

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

Aug 12, 2010

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

   
       

 

Camcorder

         
Visitor Sightings
   
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Scott Bemman
Summer 2020

Location: Hayes Lake State Park

spotted spreadwing


Alfredo Colon
Summer 2018

Location: Woodbury, MN

spotted spreadwing


 
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Created: 1/15/2020

Last Updated:

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