Wisconsin Odonata Survey


Somatochlora linearis  (Hagen, 1861)
Mocha Emerald

Corduliidae, Emerald Family
"Most Wanted" Species

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: SQ    

Distinguishing Characteristics:

This large, slender emerald varies in length from 2.3 to 2.7 inches. Its dark brown thorax has a dull green iridescence, with no lateral spots. The black abdomen has yellow lateral spots near the base that fade with age. The female is similar to the male but with a thicker abdomen and more prominent, abdominal markings. The mocha emerald differs from other striped emeralds by its large size, the amber wash on wings, and no thoracic markings.

Description of Habitat/Range:

Ranging in the eastern and southern United States, this species can be found at small shaded forest streams, including those that partially dry in summer, and woodland openings. It is known from just one stream in Wisconsin, in Brown County (Argia, 2014, 26(3): 28-30), but it likely occurs in other small, slow, sandy, forested streams in the southeastern or east-central counties and should be looked for at those types of streams.

Flight Season:

Throughout its range, the flight season is from mid-May to early October. The flight season in Michigan is from late June to late August.

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

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Photo of Male mocha emerald
Male mocha emerald. © Paul Dacko

Photo of Male mocha emerald
Male mocha emerald. © Paul Dacko

Photo of Mocha emerald
Mocha emerald. © Joan Berkopec

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