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Somatochlora forcipata
Forcipate Emerald

(Scudder, 1866)
Corduliidae, Emerald Family
photo of Male forcipate emerald
Male forcipate emerald — Dan Jackson
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.
Status-Global/State:
Global: G5 Wisconsin: S2S3
Distinguishing Characteristics:
This small dark emerald has two distinctive pale yellow spots on its thorax and a slender abdomen. The length of its body varies from 1.7 to 2.0 inches. It is similar to the incurvate emerald and Kennedy's emerald.
Description of Habitat/Range:
Uncommon throughout Wisconsin, it ranges from Canada to northeastern United States. It is usually found at boggy spring-fed streams, bog pools, and alder swamps.
Flight Season:
Mid-June to mid August in Wisconsin.
(Click on photos to enlarge)
photo of Male forcipate emerald
Male forcipate emerald — Dan Jackson
photo of Close-up of male forcipate emerald thorax
Close-up of male forcipate emerald thorax — Dan Jackson
photo of Side (top image) and top view of cercus for male forcipate emerald
Side (top image) and top view of cercus for male forcipate emerald — Dan Jackson
photo of Female forcipate emerald
Female forcipate emerald — Dan Jackson
photo of Immature female forcipate emerald
Immature female forcipate emerald — Ryan Brady
photo of Close-up of female forcipate emerald thorax
Close-up of female forcipate emerald thorax — Dan Jackson
photo of Side view of female forcipate emerald abdomen tip
Side view of female forcipate emerald abdomen tip — Dan Jackson
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