Nebraska Dragonflies and Damselflies

University of Nebraska State Museum - Division of Entomology


Corduliidae Family

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Emeralds are mostly plain brown dragonflies, but many have brilliant emerald green eyes. Some also have a bronze-green iridescence on their thorax and abdomen. Their eyes are in contact on top of the head. Some species are difficult to observe because their flight seasons are short or they only fly for a short time each day. They seldom perch during feeding and can be difficult to find when they do.

Smoky Shadowdragon
Smoky Shadowdragon
Plains Emerald
Plains Emerald male. Photo courtesy of Nate Kohler.

Baskettails (genus Epitheca) are so called because of the fact that females carry "all their eggs in one basket" under the end of their abdomens prior to ovipositing. They may even be mistaken for Clubtails at this time. They are otherwise plain brown, with less iridescence than other Emeralds and a yellow lateral stripe on the abdomen. They are exceptionally agile flyers. Nebraska has only one Striped Emerald (genus Somatochlora), the Plains Emerald, and one Shadowdragon (genus Neurocordulia), the Smoky Shadowdragon.

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Citation: Paseka, J. M. 2021. Nebraska dragonflies and damselflies. URL