Nebraska Dragonflies and Damselflies

Sedge Sprite

Nehalennia irene

Hagen, 1861

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The Sedge Sprite is our only representative of the Nehalennia genus. It is very small, slender and delicate. The male has an iridescent green thorax with no stripes. The abdomen is also green, with a blue tip. The female is paler and without as much blue on the tip of the abdomen.

This species is very similar to Eastern Forktail but is slightly smaller, and its whole thorax is bright green. Both are found in the same habitat, but Eastern Forktail is always many times more abundant.

It is a transcontinental species extending south into centralNebraska. It is not common anywhere in the state, but it is probably morewidespread in the northern counties than records indicate. Sprites can be easily overlooked, as they usually fly below thelevel of the tops of marshy vegetation.

Sedge Sprite
Sedge Sprite male

Size: 24-29mm (0.9-1.1 in)

Habitat: dense sedge marshes

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

Flight season: late May to early August

Sedge Sprite map

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

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