Nebraska Dragonflies and Damselflies

Division of Entomology

Sweetflag Spreadwing

Lestes forcipatus

Rambur, 1842

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The Sweetflag Spreadwing 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). The male is nearly indistinguishable from the male Common Spreadwing. Identification of the females is more reliable, since the Sweetflag female's ovipositor is large and extends beyond the end of the abdomen.

It is an uncommon, mainly eastern species, but there are scattered western recordsin a band across Iowa, Nebraska and Wyoming. The Nebraskarecords are mostly in northern and western counties.

Sweetflag Spreadwing
Sweetflag Spreadwing male
Sweetflag Spreadwing map

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

Size: 33-42mm (1.3-1.7 in)

Habitat: ponds, marshy lakes and weedy streams

Great Plains Range: KS, NE, SD, WY, MT, IA

Flight season: late June to July

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