river jewelwing

(Calopteryx aequabilis)

               
Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

LC - Least Concern

river jewelwing

NatureServe

N5 - Secure

SNR - Unranked

Minnesota

not listed

Occurrence

Common

Flight/Season

Late May to early September

Habitat

Clear, moderately flowing streams of any size with at least some open canopy; small and medium-sized rivers.

Size

Total Length: 1¾ to 2

Photo by Dan W. Andree

Identification

This is a large, 1¼ to 2 long, showy, broad-winged damselfly. It is common in northern United States and southern Canada. Males and females are the same size.

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 narrow, white, lateral patch. The lower (ventral) surface of the abdomen is black.

The wings are 1 to 17 16 long and are broad, 3½ to 4 times as long as wide. On mature individuals they are pale smoky brown, almost clear, at the base with a dark brown band at the tip. The band on the hindwing is about one third the length of the wing. That of the forewing is narrower, about one fourth the length of the wing. The wings are not stalked at the base. 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 darker, yellowish-brown near the body, dark brown on the outer third, usually appearing banded at the tip. There is a slender 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 less than half as wide as long.

 
Similar
Species

Ebony jewelwing (Calopteryx maculata) wings are broader, 3 times as long as wide. On the male they are entirely black, not banded. On the female they are darker, dark gray near the body becoming almost black at the tip, and not appearing banded. The pseudopterostigma is broader.


Larval Food

Small insects and other arthropods

 
Adult Food

Small insects and other arthropods

 
Life Cycle

After mating the female oviposits eggs inside soft, submerged stems of aquatic plants up to a foot below the surface of the water. Naiads remain in the water for two or three years, molting 12 or 13 times before emerging as an adult. Adults emerge mostly in June. They reach sexual maturity in about 11 days and live on average for 16 to 20 days.

 
Behavior

Adults often perch head down on vegetation near water. When perched the wings are held back vertically above the body.


Distribution Distribution Map  

Sources: 7, 17, 18, 24, 27, 29, 30, 72.


Comments

 


Taxonomy

Order:

Odonata (dragonflies and damselflies)

 

Suborder:

Zygoptera (damselflies)

 

Superfamily:

Calopterygoidea

 

Family:

Calopterygidae (broad-winged damselflies)

 
Synonyms

Agrion aequabile

 
Common
Names

river jewelwing


 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Nodus

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

 

Pseudopterostigma

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.

 

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 Male

  river jewelwing    

       
       

MinnesotaSeasons.com Photos

   

Male

  river jewelwing    
       
       

 

Camera

     

Slideshows

   
  River Jewelwing
Ray Bruun
 
 

Created with flickr slideshow.
 
     
  River Jewelwing
dragonflywhisperer
 
  River Jewelwing  

 

slideshow

     

Visitor Videos

   
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Other Videos

 
  River Jewelwing Damselfly (Calopterygidae: Calopteryx aequabilis) Male
Carl Barrentine
 
   
 
About

Published on Jun 13, 2012

Photographed at the Turtle River State Park, North Dakota (12 June 2012).

 
     
  River Jewelwing Damselfly (Calopterygidae: Calopteryx aequabilis) Male on Leaf
Carl Barrentine
 
   
 
About

Published on Jul 9, 2011

Photographed at the Turtle River State Park, North Dakota (08 July 2011).

 
     
  River Jewelwing (Calopteryx aequabilis) Damselfly
Sagonto
 
   
 
About

Published on Jan 8, 2015

 
     
  River Jewelwings on the Marys River
naturalist97333
 
   
 
About

Published on Jul 4, 2013

These large damselflies are common along rivers and some creeks but seldom seen elsewhere.

 
     

 

Camcorder

         

Visitor Sightings

   
Share your sighting of this insect.

Dan W. Andree
June 2017

Location: Norman Co. Mn.

I came upon this adult male - River Jewelwing while out in an area near a small stream

river jewelwing


     
     
 

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