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Archilestes grandis
Great Spreadwing

(Rambur, 1842)
Lestidae, Spreadwing Family
"Most Wanted" Species
photo of Male great spreadwing
Male great spreadwing — Dan Jackson
Status-Global/State:
Global: G5 Wisconsin: S2S3
Distinguishing Characteristics:
This is one of the largest North American spreadwings, varying from 2.0 to 2.4 inches. The male's thorax is dull greenish bronze above with broad diagonal yellow stripe on sides. The abdomen is dark with a blue-gray tip. The eyes and face are blue. The female is similar to the male but more brown on the body.
Description of Habitat/Range:
Found in most of United States, this species seems to prefer slow small streams, often with alder or willows, wetlands, ponds and temporary pools. Originally, it was found in the southwest, but over time, it expanded its range throughout most of United States, including New England. In Wisconsin, it has been recently found in a few southern counties.
Flight Season:
In Wisconsin, the normal flight season extends from early August to mid-October with occasional individuals found in late July and as late as November in years with unseasonably warm temperatures.
(Click on photos to enlarge)
photo of Male great spreadwing
Male great spreadwing — Dan Jackson
photo of Male great spreadwing
Male great spreadwing — Dan Jackson
photo of Male great spreadwing
Male great spreadwing — Dan Jackson
photo of Immature male great spreadwing
Immature male great spreadwing — Dan Jackson
photo of Close-up of male great spreadwing thorax
Close-up of male great spreadwing thorax — Dan Jackson
photo of Side (top image) and top view of cercus for male great spreadwing
Side (top image) and top view of cercus for male great spreadwing — Dan Jackson
photo of Female great spreadwing
Female great spreadwing — Brian Fussell
photo of Female great spreadwing
Female great spreadwing — Dan Jackson
photo of Male and female great spreadwing
Male and female great spreadwing — Dennis Paulson
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