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Last updated on April 17, 2014 at 17:30 EDT

Ebony Jewelwing, Calopteryx maculate

The ebony jewelwing (Calopteryx maculate) is a broad-winged damselfly that can be found in southeastern areas of Canada, New England, and the Mid-Atlantic States. It prefers to reside in wooded areas near rivers and streams, but it has been seen away from water sources. This species reaches an average length between 1.5 and 2.2 inches and it differs in color depending upon the sex and age. Adult males are bluish green in color with a metallic appearance, while females are duller brown in color. The wings of males are black in color, while the female’s wings are slightly transparent, giving them a smoky appearance, with a white marking at the tip of each wing. Naiads, or larvae, of this species are light brown with dark markings.

The ebony jewelwing can be seen throughout the year in some areas of its range and it can be found resting in many species of plant including the yellow water lily, the common cattail, the common duckweed, and the black willow. Breeding occurs during the summer months, after which time females will lay eggs in the water. Once the eggs hatch, the resulting larvae feed on other aquatic larvae. Adults feed on a large number of other insects including mosquitoes and beetles. This species is preyed upon by birds like the American Robin and mammals like the big brown bat.

Image Caption: Ebony Jewelwing (Calopteryx maculata), male, Gatineau Park, Gatineau, Quebec, Canada. Credit: D. Gordon E. Robertson/Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Ebony Jewelwing Calopteryx maculate