Somatochlora georgiana Walker, 1925
NatureServe Global Rank: G3G4
Virginia State Rank: SH
VA DGIF Tier: III
Federal Legal Status: None
Virginia Legal Status: None
Description: The Coppery Emerald is a small species when considering Emeralds, about 1.9 inches long. It has a golden brown head with red/gray eyes. The thorax is brown with two cream-colored stripes on the sides. The abdomen is brown as well, with cream markings on the sides of the second segment and a dark stripe on the dorsal side of the 8th and 9th abdominal segments. The male's cerci are long, slender and straight, curled at the tip. The female has a sharply pointed sub-genital plate with the rear edge at a right angle to the abdomen.
Similar species: The Coppery Emerald is similar to Baskettails (Epitheca spp.) except that they lack the stripes in the thorax. It is also similar to the Four-spotted Pennant (Brachymesia gravida), but this species has dark brown or brown/blue-green eyes instead of red/gray eyes and has wing markings while the Coppery Emerald does not. It is smaller and very differently colored than other Emerald Species. It is noteworthy to mention that other Dragonfly species have red-brown eyes pre-maturity, so this character should be used with care.
North American Range: This is a Coastal Plain species that has two separated populations found in eastern Connecticut and Massachusetts as well as southern New Jersey. The main population ranges from southern Virginia, south in the Coastal Plain to northern Florida and then west to eastern Mississippi.
VA Observations by Locality: Charlotte
Flight season and broods: The Coppery Emerald flies at different times depending upon the locality in its range, but is likely active in Virginia from June to August.
Aquatic Habitat: The Coppery Emerald relies on small sandy streams and slow-moving creeks, often with acidic water, in forested areas.
Behavior and Ecology: A rarely encountered species, it patrols streams in the middle of the day but tends to increase activity more towards the evening. In the early morning or late afternoon it can occasionally be found in feeding groups with other Emeralds and may feed as high as the surrounding trees. The Coppery Emerald will also hunt at the ends of tree branches.
Population trend and potential threats: The Coppery Emerald may be negatively impacted by poor water quality and habitat degradation.
Management practices: Populations should be monitored and habitats preserved.
References: Bangma, J. 2003. The Dragonflies and Damselflies of New Jersey. http://njodes.com/Speciesaccts/species.asp . Accessed: 4/8/2013
Dunkle, Sydney W. 2000. Dragonflies Through Binoculars: A Field Guide to Dragonflies of North America. Oxford University Press, New York, NY. 266 pp.
LeGrand, H., E. Corey and T. Howard. The Dragonflies and Damselflies of North Carolina. http://www.dpr.ncparks.gov/odes/a/accounts.php. Accessed: 4/8/2013
Paulson, Dennis. 2011. Dragonflies and Damselflies of the East. Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ. 530 pp.
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