Nehalennia irene (Hagen, 1861)
NatureServe Global Rank: G5
Virginia State Rank: S1S2
VA DGIF Tier: IV
Federal Legal Status: None
Virginia Legal Status: None
Description: The Sedge Sprite is a very small and delicate damselfly. The thorax and abdomen are green, with a blue tip on the abdomen that is broken by lateral dark markings. Its size range is 24-29 mm (1-1.2 inches).
Similar species: Other species in the genus are very similar, but the Sedge Sprite shows a combination of more blue on the abdominal tip with lateral dark markings than the others. See illustrations in Lam (2004) or Paulson (2011).
North American Range: The Sedge Sprite can be found all the way across northern North America from Alaska to Newfoundland. South to the northern plains and Great Lakes states to New England and the mid-Atlantic. A disjunct population occurs in northwestern South Carolina.
VA Observations by Locality: Highland | Highland | Prince William
Flight season and broods: Virginia flight dates for the Sedge Sprite range from 21 May through 8 August.
Aquatic Habitat: The Sedge Sprite can be found in wetlands with dense beds of sedges and grasses. In Virginia, it is found especially at high elevation beaver ponds such as can be found in Highland County.
Behavior and Ecology: The Sedge Sprite is easily overlooked and can be difficult to detect due to its very small size and habit of flying low inside thick grass and sedge vegetation.
Population trend and potential threats: Though common and widespread in its primary range, there are only a few known sites in Virginia.
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