Nebraska Dragonflies and Damselflies
The Common Spreadwing (Lestes disjunctus) was recently split into two species: Northern Spreadwing (Lestes disjunctus) and Southern Spreadwing (Lestes australis). Most individuals occuring in Nebraska are generally thought to be Southern Spreadwings.
The two species are very similar and difficult to tell apart. The Southern Spreadwing is slightly lighter, larger and flies earlier. Examination of the male's cerci or the female's ovipositor is a more reliable method of identifying the species, although the differences are subtle. To make matters worse, male Southern Spreadwings closely resemble Sweetflag Spreadwings.
The male is mostly black with pale green shoulder stripes and pale lower legs. The face is pale blue and the eyes are bright blue. Abdominal segments 9 and 10 are pruinose (whitish).
Southern Spreadwing pair
Green indicates accepted county record (specimen or photograph).
Size: 36-46mm (1.4-1.8 in)
Habitat: permanent still or slowly-moving waters having emergent vegetation
Great Plains Range: TX, OK, KS, NE, MO, IA
Flight season: early May to September
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