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Sparkling Jewelwing



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Calopteryx dimidiata

Burmeister, 1839


Order Odonata
Suborder Zygoptera
Superfamily Calopterygoidea
Family Calopterygidae
Genus Calopteryx
Species dimidiata Burmeister, 1839 [Calopteryx]
Syn Calopteryx apicalis Burmeister, 1839
Syn Calopteryx cognata Rambur, 1842


Identification

Essentially a costal plain species, it is relatively uncommon in our region with its westernmost records limited to the Big Thicket Primitive Area of east Texas. The body and face are iridescent blue-green with the labium and antennae black. The wings are clear except for the apical 1/4 to 1/6. The pterostigma is lacking in males, and the wings are 3.5-4 times as long as wide. The apical black area may be faint or absent in females.

Size

Total length: 37-49 mm; abdomen: 29-40 mm; hindwing: 23-31 mm.

Similar Species

Ebony Jewelwing (C. maculata ) has solid black wings. The wings of Smoky Rubyspot (Hetaerina titia ) vary, but will at least have an extensive dark spot basally in each wing.

Habitat

Sandy bottomed streams; occasionally rivers with little canopy cover.

Discussion

The variability, distribution and taxonomy of Sparkling Jewelwing has been studied. Female wing color patterns and pterostigma size have little to no seasonal variation, but rather occur in geographic clines. Data from six states suggests a general trend towards larger size and an increase in numbers of andromorphic (with apical bands ) versus gynomorphic (lacking apical bands ) females at southern latitudes. Sparkling Jewelwing apparently has a narrower range of habitat requirements than Ebony Jewelwing and often exists in isolated colonies, as is seen in Texas and Louisiana populations. Sparkling Jewelwing does not disperse far from its breeding site.

Distribution

Florida north to Massachusetts; west to east Texas.