slender spreadwing

(Lestes rectangularis)

               
Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

LC - Least Concern

slender spreadwing

 

NatureServe

N5 - Secure

SNR - Unranked

Minnesota

not listed

Occurrence

Common

Flight/Season

Mid-June to mid-September

Habitat

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

Size

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

         
          Photo by Alfredo Colon
 
Identification

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.

 
Similar
Species

 

 
Larval Food

 

 
Adult Food

 

 
Life Cycle

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

 
Behavior

 

 
Distribution Distribution Map  

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

 
Comments

 

 
Taxonomy

Order:

Odonata (dragonflies and damselflies)

 

Suborder:

Zygoptera (damselflies)

 

Superfamily:

Lestoidea

 

Family:

Lestidae (spread-winged damselflies)

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

 

 

 

 

 

       
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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    
       
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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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Be sure to include a location.

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


     
     
 
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Created: 8/3/2019

Last Updated:

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