Wisconsin Odonata Survey


Ischnura kellicotti  Williamson, 1898
Lilypad Forktail

Coenagrionidae, Pond Damsel Family
"Most Wanted" Species


Global: G5     Wisconsin: S1S2    

Distinguishing Characteristics:

The lilypad forktail's body length varies from 0.9 to 1.3 inches. The name "forktail" comes from tiny projections off the tip of males' abdomens, which help to identify the species. The male's thorax is blue with broad black mid-dorsal and shoulder stripes and horizontal stripe on sides. The abdomen is mostly black with some blue near the tip. The males can be confused with the bluets. The female's thorax is similar to the male's except the pale areas are bright red. The abdomen is mostly black with a red tip. The red areas become pruinose blue-gray with age. The old females will be difficult to distinguish from other old female forktails.

Description of Habitat/Range:

Ranging in eastern United States, the lilypad forktail has been observed to be closely associated with lily pads (Nuphar and Nymphaea species) in ponds. In Wisconsin, it is very rare, being known only from Walworth County.

Flight Season:

In Wisconsin, relatively few adults have been documented. Throughout its range, the flight season is from early June to mid-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

(Click on photos to enlarge)
Photo of Male lilypad forktail
Male lilypad forktail. © Dan Jackson

Photo of Male lilypad forktail
Male lilypad forktail. © Dan Jackson

Photo of Immature female lilypad forktail
Immature female lilypad forktail. © Dan Jackson

Photo of Intermediate/mature female lilypad forktail
Intermediate/mature female lilypad forktail. © Dan Jackson

Photo of Female lilypad forktail
Female lilypad forktail. © Dan Jackson

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