Thursday, June 26, 2014

Emerald Spreadwing

On Tuesday, 14 July 2014, Scott King and I explored the River Bend Nature Center near Faribault, Minnesota. Scott pointed out an Emerald Spreadwing in the tall grass near a pond. This damselfly is common enough here, but one for which I had searched in vain.

This species has a wide distribution across northern North America, Asia, and Europe. It is not common in Britain, and where, until recently, it was thought to be extinct. There it is known as the Scarce Emerald Damselfly. No other damselfly has such a wide range. Here in the Upper Midwest, Emerald Spreadwings are found in temporary woodland ponds that lack predators. They have a life cycle with many stages. These emeralds overwinter as eggs, which are deposited into live stems of various marsh plants and into willows, sometimes high above the ground. Some eggs can withstand temperatures below -4 degrees F (DuBois 2005Paulson 2011).

1 comment:

  1. Hi Dan. Nice picture of, as you rightly say, a Scarce Emerald Damselfly this side of the pond. I'm quite staggered that such a dainty, elegant creature has such a range. In this context 'pond' seems to be the correct description of the Atlantic Ocean!
    There are only a few sites locally I believe where I can find this species. The most well known being Cliffe Pools near Rochester in the area known as the Medway Towns here in Kent.
    It's great to find your excellent blog and I shall watch with interest from now on. Especially regarding the Odonata.

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