Nebraska Dragonflies and Damselflies

Division of Entomology

Lyre-tipped Spreadwing

Lestes unguiculatus

Hagen, 1861

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The Lyre-tipped Spreadwing is similar to the Common Spreadwing, but the tips of the male's lower appendages curve outward in the shape of a lyre. The back of the head is mostly pale.

This is a transcontinental species and the most common spreadwing inNebraska. It is found in a great variety of marshy areas, pond edges oreven wet depressions and is frequently common to abundant in these sites.

Lyre-tipped Spreadwing
Lyre-tipped Spreadwing male

Photo courtesy of Loren and Babs Padelford.

Lyre-tipped Spreadwing map

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


Size: 33-41mm (1.2-1.7 in)

Habitat: ponds or sloughs with dense emergent vegetation

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

Flight season: early June to early October



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