Nebraska Dragonflies and Damselflies

Division of Entomology

River Jewelwing

Calopteryx aequabilis

Say, 1839

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The River Jewelwing male is metallic green with the outer 1/3 of the wings black. Sometimes found in the same areas as Ebony Jewelwing. Male courts female by hovering while swinging back and forth in a wide arc.

The female is a dark green with smoky wings. The outer 1/3 of the wings are darker and have white stigmas. It is similar to the female Ebony Jewelwing, but the body is not as dark and the wings are proportionally narrower. Females may remain under water for up to 1/2 hour while ovipositing.

This northern species has eastern and western populations. The westernpopulation spills over into northern and western Nebraska plus afew counties in eastern Montana, Wyoming and Colorado. In Nebraskait is common in counties where recorded, but not found in theeastern half of the state, although it is recorded in all northern Iowacounties right up to the Nebraska border.

River Jewelwing
River Jewelwing map

Green indicates accepted county record (specimen or photograph).
Yellow indicates sight record only.


Size: 43-54mm (1.7-2.1 in)

Habitat: small, clear, sand-bottomed streams

Great Plains Range: NE, SD, ND, CO, WY, MT, IA, MN

Flight season: mid June to mid August



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