Nebraska Dragonflies and Damselflies

Division of Entomology

Slender Spreadwing

Lestes rectangularis

Say, 1839

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The Slender Spreadwing has an exceptionally long, thin abdomen, mostly black body and distinctive yellow edges on the wingtips. The face is pale blue and the lower legs are pale. The male has a long black abdomen with little or no pruinosity on segments 9 and 10. The female is very similar to the female Common Spreadwing, but it is a little larger, the abdomen is a little longer and more slender, and the tips of the wings are dull yellow.

It is a fairly common eastern species reaching its western limit inwestern Nebraska. Northern Nebraska is also the northern edge ofthe mid-western range. It is probably present in all the counties of thestate, but most of our 50 some records are of only one or a few individuals.It is found at edges of stagnant streams, ditches or small drying pondsand disproportionally in brushy vegetation just back from theseareas.

Slender Spreadwing
Slender Spreadwing male
Slender Spreadwing map

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


Size: 42-53mm (1.5-2.1 in)

Habitat: shady lakes or ponds, temporary or permanent, with dense emergent vegetation

Great Plains Range: OK, KS, NE, CO, IA, MN

Flight season: mid June to late August



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