Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada

Species Calopteryx maculata - Ebony Jewelwing

Male Ebony Jewelwing - Calopteryx maculata - male Ebony Jewelwing - Calopteryx maculata - male dragon or damsel? - Calopteryx maculata - male green damselfly - Calopteryx maculata Ebony Jewelwing (male) - Calopteryx maculata - male Jewelwing - Calopteryx maculata - female Ebony Jewelwing - Female - Calopteryx maculata - female Ebony Jewelwing (female) - Calopteryx maculata - female Ebony Jewelwing - Calopteryx maculata - female
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Odonata (Dragonflies and Damselflies)
Suborder Zygoptera (Damselflies)
Family Calopterygidae (Broad-winged Damselflies)
Genus Calopteryx (Jewelwings)
Species maculata (Ebony Jewelwing)
Explanation of Names
CALOPTERYX: from the Greek "kalos" (beautiful) + "pteron" (wing or feather)
MACULATA: from the Latin "macula" (a spot) - a reference to the white spot near the tip of the female's wing
One of five Nearctic species in the genus.
body length 37-57 mm
wings of immature adults light to dark brownish; wings of mature adult males solid black; wings of females dark gray, shading to almost black apically, and with a conspicuous white spot at tip; male body metallic green or bluish; female body dark grayish or black
Wing Flutter:
Red eye?
Terminal appendages: Male: Female:
Female ovipositing:
Male in upturned abdomen pose:
eastern two-thirds of US and eastern half of Canada
along wooded slow-moving streams and small rivers; nymphs develop in water; adults often perch on low shrubbery in sun-lit openings in forest canopy
adults March to October in the south; May to July/August in the north
nymphs and adults prey on small insects and other arthropods
Not a strong flier: adults flutter, butterfly-like, a short distance when disturbed. They are easy to get close to as long as you approach slowly and don't make any sudden movements. Ebony Jewelwings prefer sunny spots in the woods but usually perch only a minute or two before flitting to another nearby spot.
Internet References
comprehensive info plus live adult image (Odonata Central, U. of Texas)
photos with text of males and females (Dragonflies and Damselflies of West Virginia)
live adult image of female (Glenn Corbiere, Massachusetts)
live adult image of male (Blair Nikula, Massachusetts)
live adult images of male and female, plus other info (Ed Lam, New York)
live adult image of male (Phil Myers, U. of Michigan)