Nebraska Dragonflies and Damselflies

Slender Spreadwing

Lestes rectangularis

Say, 1839

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The Slender Spreadwing has an exceptionally long, thin abdomen, mostly black body and distinctive yellow edges on the wingtips. The face is pale blue and the lower legs are pale. The male has a long black abdomen with little or no pruinosity on segments 9 and 10. The female is very similar to the female Common Spreadwing, but it is a little larger, the abdomen is a little longer and more slender, and the tips of the wings are dull yellow.

Fairly common. This eastern species reaches its northwestern limits in northwest Nebraska but is probably present, even if uncommon, in most counties of the state. In Gosper County it was common in deep grass on the steep banks of a small, heavily shaded stagnant stream, but most county records are of one or a few individuals. The normal habitat is the edge of stagnant streams, ditches or small drying ponds and disproportionally in brushy vegetation just back from these areas.

Slender Spreadwing
Slender Spreadwing male
Slender Spreadwing map

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

Size: 42-53mm (1.5-2.1 in)

Habitat: shady lakes or ponds, temporary or permanent, with dense emergent vegetation

Great Plains Range: OK, KS, NE, CO, IA, MN

Flight season: mid June to late August

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