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Species Lestes vigilax - Swamp Spreadwing

Swamp Spreadwing - Lestes vigilax - male Swamp Spreadwing at a Mountain Lake - Lestes vigilax Swamp Spreadwing - Lestes vigilax - male UI Damsel 071909-1 - Lestes vigilax Swamp Spreadwing - Lestes vigilax - male Which kind of Spreadwing is this? - Lestes vigilax Lestes vigilax - male Swamp Spreadwing_Lestes vigilax - Lestes vigilax - male
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Odonata (Dragonflies and Damselflies)
Suborder Zygoptera (Damselflies)
Family Lestidae (Spreadwings)
Genus Lestes
Species vigilax (Swamp Spreadwing)
Explanation of Names
Author of species is Hagen in Selys, 1862.
Length 42-55 mm
Large, metallic colored, male has brilliant blue eyes, female brown eyes. Compare Common Spreadwing, L. disjunctus, and Sweetflag Spreadwing, L. forcipatus. Southern populations of this speces are dark, less emerald green than northern populations. Identification of Lestes species is difficult. See Lam (1) for discussion.
Eastern North America: southeastern Canada south to Florida, west to Minnesota, Oklahoma, Texas.
Shaded vegetated ponds, swamps, usually more acidic waters.
Life Cycle
Oviposition is done in tandem in stalks of emergent vegetation, just above waterline.
A common and widespread Spreadwing.
Print References
Lam, p. 27, illustrates the northern form (1)
Dunkle, p. 42-43, figs. 25, 26 (2)
Nikula, p. 50 illustrates the northern form, very green (3)
Abbott, pp. 44-45, photos 4e, 4f (4)
Internet References
Giff Beaton's page on Spreadwings--illustrates very dark southern form of species
Odonata of North America, Updated September 2007
Works Cited
1.Damselflies of the Northeast
Ed Lam. 2004. Biodiversity Books.
2.Damselflies of Florida, Bermuda, and the Bahamas
Sidney W. Dunkle. 1991. Scientific Publishers.
3.Stokes Beginner's Guide to Dragonflies
Donald and Lillian Stokes. 2002. Little, Brown and Company.
4.Dragonflies and Damselflies of Texas and the South-Central United States
John C. Abbott. 2005. Princeton University Press.