Nebraska Dragonflies and Damselflies

Great Spreadwing

Archilestes grandis

Rambur, 1842

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The Great Spreadwing is a large, slender damselfly with a bright yellow thoracic stripe and blue eyes. It is much larger than the other spreadwing species. The last two abdominal segments tend to be pruinose (whitish). The female is robust, with colors similar to the male.

Rare. Nebraska is near the northern limit of this uncommon and late season transcontinental species. The distribution is spotty with limited county records, and it is often present at a site one year and absent the next. However, it is frequently common or even abundant where collected. At Heron Haven (Douglas County) and Fontenelle Forest (Sarpy County) it is present most years. On July 4, 2012, a number were found in early July at a small drying wildlife pond in Pawnee County, an exceptionally early date. It is found along small sluggish streams and small ponds, where it is usually conspicuously perched and active.

Great Spreadwing
Great Spreadwing male
Great Spreadwing map

Green indicates accepted county record (specimen or photograph).
Yellow indicates sight record only.

Size: 50-62mm (2.0-2.4 in)

Habitat: temporary or permanent pools and slow streams

Great Plains Range: TX, OK, KS, NE, SD, NM, CO, WY, MO, IA

Flight season: August to October

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