Wisconsin Odonata Survey

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Somatochlora forcipata  (Scudder, 1866)
Forcipate Emerald


Corduliidae, Emerald Family

The medium-sized, dark brown striped emeralds have some pale markings on the thorax and abdomen, black legs, clear wings and brilliant green eyes. The thorax has a metallic bronze-green sheen and the abdomen is dark metallic black-green. Most species are uncommonly seen, but this may be largely due to their secretive nature. When flying, most species look alike which is why in-hand identifications of their anatomical features are often needed.

Status-Global/State:

Global: G5     Wisconsin: S2S3    

Distinguishing Characteristics:

This small dark emerald has two distinctive pale yellow spots on its thorax and a slender abdomen. The length of its body varies from 1.7 to 2.0 inches. It is similar to the incurvate emerald and Kennedy's emerald.

Description of Habitat/Range:

Uncommon throughout Wisconsin, it ranges from Canada to northeastern United States. It is usually found at boggy spring-fed streams, bog pools, and alder swamps.

Flight Season:

Mid-June to mid August in Wisconsin.


Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
36%
(21)
53%
(31)
10%
(6)
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 forcipate emerald
Male forcipate emerald. © Dan Jackson

Male forcipate emerald
Photo of Male forcipate emerald
Male forcipate emerald. © Mary Lysne

Male forcipate emerald
Photo of Female forcipate emerald
Female forcipate emerald. © Dan Jackson

Female forcipate emerald
Photo of Female forcipate emerald terminal appendage
Female forcipate emerald terminal appendage. © Vic Berardi

Female forcipate emerald terminal appendage
Photo of Immature female forcipate emerald
Immature female forcipate emerald. © Ryan Brady

Immature female forcipate emerald



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