Wisconsin Odonata Survey

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Epitheca spinigera  (Selys, 1871)
Spiny Baskettail


Corduliidae, Emerald Family

The baskettail species that occur in Wisconsin are very similar to each other, requiring in-hand examination to be sure about species identification. They differ primarily in the shape of the terminal appendages and presence or absence of dark markings on the wings. They are medium-sized dragonflies with dark brown bodies and small yellow markings on the sides of the abdomen. There is some disagreement among odonatists as to whether they should be placed in the genus Epitheca or the genus Tetragoneuria.

Status-Global/State:

Global: G5     Wisconsin: S5    

Distinguishing Characteristics:

The body varies from 1.7 to 1.8 inches in length. The black abdomen is constricted just below the base especially in males. This dark brown dragonfly is generally larger than the common baskettail, with almost no markings on the wings.

Description of Habitat/Range:

Commonly found at ponds, slow streams, and marshy lakes, this species seems to prefer slow moving acidic waters. It is found throughout northern United States and southern Canada. It is commonly found throughout most of Wisconsin, especially in the north.

Flight Season:

Mid-May to late August in Wisconsin.


Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
<1%
(1)
17%
(52)
65%
(200)
15%
(47)
1%
(4)
<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 spiny baskettail
Male spiny baskettail. © Dan Jackson

Male spiny baskettail
Photo of Male spiny baskettail
Male spiny baskettail. © Dan Jackson

Male spiny baskettail
Photo of Male spiny baskettail
Male spiny baskettail. © Dan Jackson

Male spiny baskettail
Photo of Male spiny baskettail
Male spiny baskettail. © Jim Lind

Male spiny baskettail
Photo of Female spiny baskettail
Female spiny baskettail. © Dan Jackson

Female spiny baskettail
Photo of Female spiny baskettail
Female spiny baskettail. © Jim Lind

Female spiny baskettail



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