Wisconsin Odonata Survey

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Lestes unguiculatus  Hagen, 1861
Lyre-tipped Spreadwing


Lestidae, Spreadwing Family

Status-Global/State:

Global: G5     Wisconsin: S5    

Distinguishing Characteristics:

The body length of a lyre-tipped spreadwing varies from 1.2 to 1.8 inches. Under magnification, the male is easily separated from other spreadwings by its "S"-shaped terminal appendages, hence its name. The male's thorax is dark bronzy above, often becoming blue-gray with age. The thorax has pale shoulder stripes and gray sides. The abdomen is dark green to blackish above a pale gray tip when mature. The male is usually elongated with the female more sturdy. The female's thorax is greenish above with pale shoulder stripes and pale tan sides. The abdomen is green above and pale yellowish below. It is very similar to the northern, southern and sweetflag spreadwings in appearance.

Description of Habitat/Range:

The lyre-tipped spreadwing is usually found at small open vegetated temporary or permanent ponds, and sloughs. It ranges throughout Canada and northern United States, including the mountains in the west. In Wisconsin, it is occasionally found at scattered sites throughout the state. Like other spreadwings, knowledge about its statewide distribution has been hampered by inadequate survey effort.

Flight Season:

Mid-June to early September in Wisconsin.


Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
<1%
(1)
15%
(36)
38%
(88)
34%
(80)
12%
(27)
<1%
(1)
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 lyre-tipped spreadwing
Male lyre-tipped spreadwing. © Dan Jackson

Male lyre-tipped spreadwing
Photo of Male lyre-tipped spreadwing
Male lyre-tipped spreadwing. © Dan Jackson

Male lyre-tipped spreadwing
Photo of Close-up of male lyre-tipped spreadwing appendages
Close-up of male lyre-tipped spreadwing appendages. © Mike Reese

Close-up of male lyre-tipped spreadwing appendages
Photo of Immature male lyre-tipped spreadwing
Immature male lyre-tipped spreadwing. © Dan Jackson

Immature male lyre-tipped spreadwing
Photo of Female lyre-tipped spreadwing
Female lyre-tipped spreadwing. © Dan Jackson

Female lyre-tipped spreadwing
Photo of Ovipositing pair of lyre-tipped spreadwings
Ovipositing pair of lyre-tipped spreadwings. © Dan Jackson

Ovipositing pair of lyre-tipped spreadwings



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