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Lestes unguiculatus
Lyre-tipped Spreadwing

Hagen, 1861
Lestidae, Spreadwing Family
photo of Male lyre-tipped spreadwing
Male lyre-tipped spreadwing — Dan Jackson
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.
(Click on photos to enlarge)
photo of Male lyre-tipped spreadwing
Male lyre-tipped spreadwing — Dan Jackson
photo of Male lyre-tipped spreadwing
Male lyre-tipped spreadwing — Dan Jackson
photo of Immature male lyre-tipped spreadwing
Immature male lyre-tipped spreadwing — Dan Jackson
photo of Close-up of male lyre-tipped spreadwing
Close-up of male lyre-tipped spreadwing — Dan Jackson
photo of Side (top image) and top view of cercus for male lyre-tipped spreadwing
Side (top image) and top view of cercus for male lyre-tipped spreadwing — Dan Jackson
photo of Female lyre-tipped spreadwing
Female lyre-tipped spreadwing — Dan Jackson
photo of Close-up of female lyre-tipped spreadwing thorax
Close-up of female lyre-tipped spreadwing thorax — Dan Jackson
photo of Female abdomen tip of female lyre-tipped spreadwing
Female abdomen tip of female lyre-tipped spreadwing — Dan Jackson
photo of Ovipositing pair of lyre-tipped spreadwings
Ovipositing pair of lyre-tipped spreadwings — Dan Jackson
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