Nebraska Dragonflies and Damselflies

University of Nebraska State Museum - Division of Entomology

Spreadwing Damselflies

Lestidae Family

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As thecommon name suggests, all spreadwing species perch with the wings half spread. Someother species, particularly young individuals, may occasionallyperch with wings half spread and in cold or rainy weatherspreadwings may fold their wings over the back like other damselflies.Although it is possible to confuse spreadwings with pond damsels, they are allsomewhat to much larger and subdued in color - no bright blues orblacks.

Spreadwings are fairly large damselflies and are marked with metallic bronze or green. Males have blue eyes and pincer-like terminal abdominal appendages, which may be used to identify them to species. Many of the females are difficult to identify to species.

Great Spreadwing
Great Spreadwing female
Lyre-tipped Spreadwing
Lyre-tipped Spreadwing pair

There are eight Nebraska Spreadwing species. The only member of the Archilestes genus is the Great Spreadwing. The other seven Spreadwings are in the Lestes genus. AllLestes are smaller and mostly earlier than Archilestes.

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