Wisconsin Odonata Survey title graphic Wisconsin Odonata Survey graphic Wisconsin Odonata Survey graphic Wisconsin Odonata Survey graphic Wisconsin Odonata Survey graphic

Lestes vigilax
Swamp Spreadwing

Hagen in Selys, 1862
Lestidae, Spreadwing Family
photo of Male swamp spreadwing
Male swamp spreadwing — Dan Jackson
Status-Global/State:
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.
(Click on photos to enlarge)
photo of Male swamp spreadwing
Male swamp spreadwing — Dan Jackson
photo of Male swamp spreadwing
Male swamp spreadwing — Dan Jackson
photo of Intermediate male swamp spreadwing
Intermediate male swamp spreadwing — Dan Jackson
photo of Close-up of male swamp spreadwing
Close-up of male swamp spreadwing — Dan Jackson
photo of Side (top image) and top view of cercus for male swamp spreadwing
Side (top image) and top view of cercus for male swamp spreadwing — Dan Jackson
photo of Female swamp spreadwing
Female swamp spreadwing — Dan Jackson
photo of Intermediate female swamp spreadwing
Intermediate female swamp spreadwing — Dan Jackson
photo of Intermediate female swamp spreadwing
Intermediate female swamp spreadwing — Dan Jackson
photo of Close-up of female swamp spreadwing thorax
Close-up of female swamp spreadwing thorax — Dan Jackson
photo of Side view of female swamp spreadwing abdomen tip
Side view of female swamp spreadwing abdomen tip — Dan Jackson
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