spotted spreadwing

(Lestes congener)

Conservation Status
spotted spreadwing
Photo by Scott Bemman
  IUCN Red List

LC - Least Concern

     
  NatureServe

N5 - Secure

SNR - Unranked

     
  Minnesota

not listed

     
           
 
Description
 
 

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.

 
     
 

Size

 
 

Total Length: 1¼ to 1 (32 to 42 mm)

 
     
 

Similar Species

 
     
     
 
Habitat
 
 

Edges of ponds and lakes, wetlands

 
     
 
Biology
 
 

Season

 
 

Mid-July to late October

 
     
 

Behavior

 
 

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

 
     
 

Life Cycle

 
 

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

 
     
 

Nymph Food

 
 

 

 
     
 

Adult Food

 
 

 

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

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

 
  1/5/2020      
         
 

Occurrence

 
 

Common

 
         
 
Taxonomy
 
 

Order

Odonata (dragonflies and damselflies)  
 

Suborder

Zygoptera (damselflies)  
 

Superfamily

Lestoidea  
 

Family

Lestidae (spread-winged damselflies)  
 

Genus

Lestes  
       
 

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 other insects, a thickened, dark, or opaque cell on the leading edge of the wing.

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
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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
 
           
 

Report a sighting of this insect.

 
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  Scott Bemman
Summer 2020

Location: Hayes Lake State Park

spotted spreadwing  
  Alfredo Colon
Summer 2018

Location: Woodbury, MN

spotted spreadwing  
           
 
MinnesotaSeasons.com Sightings
 
 

 

 

 

 

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Created: 1/15/2020

Last Updated:

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