Lestes disjunctus Selys, 1862
NatureServe Global Rank: G5
Virginia State Rank: S2
VA DGIF Tier: IV
Federal Legal Status: None
Virginia Legal Status: None
Description: The male Northern Spreadwing's thorax is dark with very narrow green stripes, and is whitish below. The abdomen is black with a gray tip. The size range is 32-42mm (1.3-1.7 inches).
Similar species: The Northern Spreadwing is nearly identical in the field to the Southern Spreadwing (L. australis). Magnification of male cerci or female ovipositor is required to reliably determine identification. See illustrations in Lam (2004) or Paulson (2011). The Southern Spreadwing is more common and widespread in Virginia, and with a long flight season extending from early April into early November. Formerly, Southern and Northern Spreadwing were considered as subspecies and known as the Common Spreadwing.
North American Range: The Northern Spreadwing lives across the northern United States and Canada. In Virginia, it is only recorded from Bath, Highland, Montgomery, and Prince William counties.
VA Observations by Locality: Montgomery | Bath | Highland | Bath | Highland | Prince William
Flight season and broods: Virginia flight dates for the Northern Spreadwing range from 21 May through 3 October.
Aquatic Habitat: In Virginia, the Northern Spreadwing inhabits vegetated ponds such as high-elevation beaver ponds. In its main range it inhabits a variety of vegetated ponds, lakes, bogs, and slow-moving streams. It is generally restricted to fishless ponds.
Behavior and Ecology: The Northern Spreadwing is typically a late summer to fall species. Like other species in this genus, The northern Spreadwing perches with wings partially spread.
Population trend and potential threats: The Northern Spreadwing is a widespread species in its primary range, but appropriate fishless vegetated pond habitat in Virginia is very limited and should be protected.
Management practices: Monitor and protect occupied habitats.
References: Lam, Ed. 2004. Damselflies of the Northeast. Biodiversity Books. Forest Hills, New York. 96 pp.
Paulson, Dennis. 2011. Dragonflies and Damselflies of the East. Princeton University Press. Princeton and Oxford. 538 pp.
Roble, Steven M. 1994. A preliminary checklist of the Damselflies of Virginia, with Notes on Distribution and Seasonality. Banisteria 4: 3 - 23.
Roble, Steven M. 2011. Damselflies of Virginia- Flight dates. Unpub.
Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Natural Heritage Program, 600 E. Main St., 24th Floor, Richmond, VA 23219
This atlas was compiled
by the VA Natural Heritage Program with funds provided by the VA Dept. of Game and Inland Fisheries through a state wildlife grant
from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Last Modified: Tuesday, 24 January 2017, 10:12:03 PM