Wisconsin Odonata Survey

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Lestes rectangularis  Say, 1839
Slender Spreadwing


Lestidae, Spreadwing Family

Status-Global/State:

Global: G5     Wisconsin: S5    

Distinguishing Characteristics:

This damselfly is known for its very long slender abdomen, which is nearly twice as long as the wings. The length of the body varies from 1.5 to 2.1 inches. The male's thorax is dark with green iridescence above with pale greenish shoulder stripes and lemon-yellow sides. The abdomen is bronzy green above without a blue-gray tip like other spreadwing males at maturity. The colors are obscured by pruinosity as the spreadwings age, especially in males. The female's thorax is brown above pale shoulder stripes and yellow sides. The abdomen is dark above and stockier than males'.

Description of Habitat/Range:

This species is found throughout eastern United States and southernmost Canada. It usually prefers temporary or shaded ponds, quiet streams, and marshy waters. In Wisconsin, it is locally common and widely distributed throughout the state. As with all spreadwings, knowledge of its distribution has been hampered by inadequate survey effort.

Flight Season:

Mid-July to late September in Wisconsin.


Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
12%
(67)
37%
(209)
36%
(202)
14%
(79)
1%
(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 slender spreadwing
Male slender spreadwing. © Dan Jackson

Male slender spreadwing
Photo of Male slender spreadwing
Male slender spreadwing. © Dan Jackson

Male slender spreadwing
Photo of Immature male slender spreadwing
Immature male slender spreadwing. © Dan Jackson

Immature male slender spreadwing
Photo of Female slender spreadwing
Female slender spreadwing. © Dan Jackson

Female slender spreadwing
Photo of Female slender spreadwing
Female slender spreadwing. © John & Cindy Anderson

Female slender spreadwing



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