Wisconsin Odonata Survey

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Lestes inaequalis  Walsh, 1862
Elegant Spreadwing


Lestidae, Spreadwing Family

Status-Global/State:

Global: G5     Wisconsin: S2S3    

Distinguishing Characteristics:

The elegant spreadwing is large, slender, and strikingly colored. It generally varies from 1.8 to 2.3 inches in the body length. The male's thorax is bright metallic green with lemon-yellow sides. The abdomen is bright green above with a blue-gray tip when mature. The colors are obscured by pruinosity as the spreadwings age, especially in males. The male is usually elongated with the female more sturdy. The female is similar but with somewhat duller coloration. Both sexes are very similar to the swamp spreadwing, but are larger and brighter green above and with less distinctive brown shoulder stripes. The amber-winged spreadwing is stockier, less greenish, has dark diagonal streaks on the thorax, and amber-washed wings.

Description of Habitat/Range:

This species is usually found at permanent ponds, slow streams, lakes, and marshy bays. The elegant spreadwing ranges throughout eastern United States and parts of southeast Canada. In Wisconsin, it has been found in low numbers at scattered locations around the state.

Flight Season:

Mid-June to early August in Wisconsin.


Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
3%
(4)
53%
(65)
41%
(51)
2%
(3)
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 elegant spreadwing
Male elegant spreadwing. © Dan Jackson

Male elegant spreadwing
Photo of Male elegant spreadwing
Male elegant spreadwing. © Jim Lind

Male elegant spreadwing
Photo of Male elegant spreadwing
Male elegant spreadwing. © Jim Lind

Male elegant spreadwing
Photo of Female elegant spreadwing
Female elegant spreadwing. © Dan Jackson

Female elegant spreadwing
Photo of Female elegant spreadwing
Female elegant spreadwing. © Dan Jackson

Female elegant spreadwing



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