Nebraska Dragonflies and Damselflies

Lyre-tipped Spreadwing

Lestes unguiculatus

Hagen, 1861

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The Lyre-tipped Spreadwing is similar to the Common Spreadwing, but the tips of the male's lower appendages curve outward in the shape of a lyre. The back of the head is mostly pale.

Common. This transcontinental species is the most common spreadwing in Nebraska and is found in a great variety of marshy areas, pond edges or even formerly wet depressions. It is most common in reeds, grass, or other vegetation back from the pond edge, but at cattle ponds with flooded weeds it may be conspicuous on isolated stems at the edge of the water. It usually flies low over the water and often within the vegetation.

Lyre-tipped Spreadwing
Lyre-tipped Spreadwing male

Photo courtesy of Loren and Babs Padelford.

Lyre-tipped Spreadwing map

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

Size: 33-41mm (1.2-1.7 in)

Habitat: ponds or sloughs with dense emergent vegetation

Great Plains Range: KS, NE, SD, ND, CO, WY, MT, MO, IA, MN

Flight season: early June to early October

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