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Ebony Jewelwings

Damselflies, smaller and more delicate versions of dragonflies, are predatory aerial insects found near streams and wetlands. The male Ebony Jewelwing (Calopteryzx maculata) damselfly is aptly named.  Its pure black wings (the only dragonfly or damselfly in the Northeast with entirely black wings) and iridescent green head and abdomen are a striking combination.  The female lacks the iridescence of the male and its wings are dark but not quite black, with a distinct white spot (pterostigma) at the outer edge of both forewings. 

Ebony Jewelwings only live about two weeks.  During much of this time they can be found resting on leaves or branches in sunny spots of the forest, often near the slow-moving stream in which they spent their youth (most dragonfly and damselfly larvae are aquatic).

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3 responses

  1. Bill on the Hill

    Thanks Mary & a really good comparison of the ( 2 ) sexes of these dragonflies…
    I blew them up to get more details, however I would have loved to see the high resolution files on these dragonflies in their original JPEG format…
    In closing I will just say receiving this in my email a short while ago is so much nicer than all the other stuff currently going on around us these days…
    Bill… :~)

    July 23, 2021 at 11:47 am

  2. Alice

    They are so pretty/handsome. Thinking that they are predators…aren’t most insects predators?

    July 23, 2021 at 12:59 pm

  3. This was enlightening. I had them earlier this month and thought the white-dotted ones were a different species. Normally I don’t see a lot of dragonflies in my garden until late in the summer, but the rainfall this summer was often closer to rainforest than Michigan. So all sorts of them have been around since MAY.

    They’re certainly a nicer anomaly than what locals call “floodwater mosquitos” which hatch from larva in the higher meadows. So many mosquitos this year!

    July 23, 2021 at 6:46 pm

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