ebony jewelwing

(Calopteryx maculata)

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

not yet assessed

ebony jewelwing


N5 - Secure

SNR - Unranked


not listed




Late May to early September


Shallow, small to medium-sized, canopy covered forest streams and adjacent shaded areas.


Total Length: 17 16 to 2¼



This is a large, 17 16 to 2¼ long, showy, broad-winged damselfly.

The head, thorax, and upper (dorsal) and side (lateral) surfaces of the abdomen of the male are iridescent. The apparent color is determined by the quantity and angle of available light. In good light they appear brilliant metallic green or bright metallic teal blue depending on the angle of the light. In deep shade they appear black. The 8th and 9th abdominal segments have a white lateral patch. The lower (ventral) surface of the abdomen is black.

The wings are 1 to 17 16 long and are broad, 3 times as long as wide. On mature individuals they are wholly black. They are not stalked at the base and there are no contrasting stigmas. The area between the base of the wing and the notch (nodus) is crossed by numerous veins.

The legs are long, slender, and dark.

The female is similar but less brilliantly colored. It may appear bronze, gray, or black with a slight bluish-green iridescence. The 8th and 9th abdominal segments have a brown lateral patch. The wings are lighter, dark gray near the body becoming almost black at the tip, but not appearing banded at the tip. There is a white area (pseudopterostigma) on the leading edge of each wing toward the tip. It is crossed by veins so is not a true pterostigma. It is nearly half as wide as long and is conspicuously widened at the middle.

Immature adults have light brown to dark brown wings.


River jewelwing (Calopteryx aequabilis) wings are narrower, 3½ to 4 times as long as wide. They are conspicuously banded, with a clear or smoky band on the inner part of the wing and a dark band on the outer part. The pseudopterostigma is more slender.

Naiad Food

Small insects and other arthropods

Adult Food

Small insects and other arthropods

Life Cycle

Adults emerge from late May to late August, the last emerging ones flying until early September.

After mating the female oviposits eggs inside soft, submerged stems of aquatic plants in a slow moving or quiet area of the stream. Naiads remain in the water for about one year, molting 10 or 11 times before emerging as an adult. They reach sexual maturity in about 11 days and live on average for 16 to 20 days.


When perched the wings are held back vertically above the body. The flight pattern is usually described as “bouncy and butterfly-like.”

Males compete vigorously for territories with suitable egg-laying submerged vegetation.

Distribution Distribution Map  

Sources: 7, 17, 18, 24, 29.



This damselfly is often seen in large numbers but for only a short period and then not again until the next year.



Odonata (dragonflies and damselflies)



Zygoptera (damselflies)






Calopterygidae (broad-winged damselflies)


Agrion maculatum


black-wing damselfly

ebony jewelwing










On a dragonfly, the small notch on the lead edge of each wing about halfway between the body and the tip.



In Calopterygidae, a pale spot containing numerous cells at the leading edge of each wing toward the tip. It is crossed by veins and therefore is not a true pterostigma.



[= stigma] In Odonata and Hymenoptera, a blood-filled blister or dark spot at the leading edge of each wing toward the tip. It is heaver than adjacent, similar sized areas and is thought to dampen wing vibrations and signal mates.







Visitor Photos

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Dan W. Andree

Adult female

  ebony jewelwing    


MinnesotaSeasons.com Photos



  ebony jewelwing   ebony jewelwing
  ebony jewelwing    


  ebony jewelwing   ebony jewelwing

Immature Adult Female

  ebony jewelwing    





  Ebony Jewelwing
Andree Reno Sanborn
  Ebony Jewelwing  

Damselfly (Calopteryx maculata)

  Ebony Jewelwing (Calopteryx maculata)
Bill Keim
  Ebony Jewelwing (Calopteryx maculata)  
  Calopteryx maculata (Ebony Jewelwing)
Allen Chartier
  Calopteryx maculata (Ebony Jewelwing)  
  Ebony Jewelwing
Victor Fazio
  Ebony Jewelwing  




Visitor Videos

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Other Videos

  Ebony Jewelwing - Calopteryx maculata

Published on Jun 1, 2014

Ebony Jewelwing - Calopteryx maculata

Somewhere in North Carolina ... Ebony Jewelwing (male)
Calopteryx maculata
A species of broad-winged damselfly

Date: 30 MAY 2014

  Ebony Jewelwing
Stoil Ivanov

Uploaded on Jun 18, 2011

Ebony Jewelwing (Calopteryx maculata) male & female video taken at LaBagh Woods Chicago 6-18-2011

  ハグロトンボ・Ebony Jewelwing

Uploaded on Jul 16, 2009


  Ebony Jewelwing Egg-laying and female gaurding
Meena Haribal

Uploaded on Jun 28, 2009

Ebony Jewelwings egglaying and female gaurding behaviors

I also found several adults deforemed, body was crooked and wings were not completely expanded. This was inTiughnioga River in Cortland County near Meesengerville. I was wondering if the deforamtions were due to pollutants in the river or there was problems such as river level rose or rained etc. during emergence.

  Ebony Jewelwing
Basicbill's Outdoor and Travel Channel

Uploaded on Jun 14, 2011

Video taken at the Bluff Spring Fen Nature Preserve in Elgin, Illinois on July 5, 2009.

Photo at:

Camera: Canon HV30 30p
Microphones: Azden ECZ 990
Edited in: Sony Vegas Studio Platinum 9.0





Visitor Sightings

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Dan W. Andree

Location: In an area near a creek in Norman County, Mn.

Adult female

ebony jewelwing


Location: St. Wendel, MN

I have seen the ebony jewelwing here in St. Wendel, in Stearns county. I plant lots of flowers and we have a variety of habitat , including swampy, low areas, open fields, deciduous and conifers. I've also seen the twelve spotted skimmer.


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