Wisconsin Odonata Survey


Archilestes grandis  (Rambur, 1842)
Great Spreadwing

Lestidae, Spreadwing Family
"Most Wanted" Species


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.

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 great spreadwing
Male great spreadwing. © Dan Jackson

Photo of Male great spreadwing
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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