Wisconsin Odonata Survey


Lestes vigilax  Hagen in Selys, 1862
Swamp Spreadwing

Lestidae, Spreadwing Family


Global: G5     Wisconsin: S3    

Distinguishing Characteristics:

The swamp spreadwing varies from 1.7 to 2.2 inches in its length. The male's thorax is metallic green above with thin brown shoulder stripes and pale yellow sides. The abdomen is bronzy green above with a pale gray tip at maturity. 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's thorax is green above with brown shoulder stripes and gray-yellow sides. The abdomen is green above and dull brown below. Both sexes could be confused with the elegant spreadwing in the field but the swamp spreadwing is smaller and the green coloration is duller.

Description of Habitat/Range:

Ranging throughout eastern United States, this species is usually found at vegetated ponds, marshes, stream backwaters, and boggy lakes. In Wisconsin, it is locally common and widely distributed throughout the state.

Flight Season:

Late May to late September 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 swamp spreadwing
Male swamp spreadwing. © Dan Jackson

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

Male swamp spreadwing
Photo of Female swamp spreadwing
Female swamp spreadwing. © Mike Reese

Female swamp spreadwing

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