Wisconsin Odonata Survey


Somatochlora kennedyi  Walker, 1918
Kennedy's Emerald

Corduliidae, Emerald Family

The medium-sized, dark brown striped emeralds have some pale markings on the thorax and abdomen, black legs, clear wings and brilliant green eyes. The thorax has a metallic bronze-green sheen and the abdomen is dark metallic black-green. Most species are uncommonly seen, but this may be largely due to their secretive nature. When flying, most species look alike which is why in-hand identifications of their anatomical features are often needed.


Global: G5     Wisconsin: S3    

Distinguishing Characteristics:

Varying from 1.9 to 2.2 inches in length, this dark emerald has no distinctive pale markings like other emeralds. It has an obscure anterior lateral thoracic stripe and possible tiny spots on base of segements of the abdomen. Kennedy's emerald is more robust than the delicate emerald. forcipate emerald and incurvate emerald have more pale markings.

Description of Habitat/Range:

This species is commonly found throughout Canada and northeastern United States. It prefers boreal swamps, shaded bog ponds, shallow bogs, and slow open streams in bogs or marshes. In Wisconsin, it is fairly widespread throughout the northern two-thirds of the state, though it is rarely abundant.

Flight Season:

Late May to late August in Wisconsin.

Shading illustrates monthly percentages of the total flight season records for the species. Each flight season record is a unique date/location/observer combination where one or more adult or an exuvia was recorded (excludes nymphs). The actual number of flight season records for each month is shown in parentheses.

Flight seasons begin earlier in the southern part of the state, often by a week or more. Also, flight charts may not be accurate for rare species because of few data available.
View user-submitted photos

(Click on photos to enlarge)
Photo of Male Kennedy's emerald
Male Kennedy's emerald. © Ryan Brady

Male Kennedy's emerald
Photo of Male Kennedy's emerald
Male Kennedy's emerald. © Ryan Brady

Male Kennedy's emerald
Photo of Immature male Kennedy's emerald
Immature male Kennedy's emerald. © Dan Jackson

Immature male Kennedy's emerald
Photo of Female Kennedy's emerald
Female Kennedy's emerald. © Ryan Brady

Female Kennedy's emerald

This site is produced in conjunction with the Wisconsin Aquatic and Terrestrial Resources Inventory and sponsored by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. The information presented on this site is subject to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources' Legal Notices, Disclaimers, and Terms of Use.