Wisconsin Odonata Survey


Somatochlora franklini  (Selys, 1878)
Delicate 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.


Global: G5     Wisconsin: S3    

Distinguishing Characteristics:

This dark emerald, about 1.7 inches long, has a very slender abdomen with almost no markings at all. Because of the very long, slender abdomen and black markings at the base of the hind wings, this species is easily separated from other Somatochlora species.

Description of Habitat/Range:

Common throughout Canada and northern United States, it is usually found at spring-fed sphagnum bogs or fens, generally not next to open waters. It is occasionally found at appropriate habitats in northern Wisconsin.

Flight Season:

Late May to early August 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 delicate emerald
Male delicate emerald. © Dan Jackson

Male delicate emerald
Photo of Male delicate emerald
Male delicate emerald. © Dan Jackson

Male delicate emerald
Photo of Immature male delicate emerald
Immature male delicate emerald. © Dan Jackson

Immature male delicate emerald
Photo of Female delicate emerald
Female delicate emerald. © Dan Jackson

Female delicate emerald
Photo of Immature female delicate emerald
Immature female delicate emerald. © Dan Jackson

Immature female delicate emerald

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