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Mantled Baskettail



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Epitheca semiaquea

Burmeister, 1839


Order Odonata
Suborder Anisoptera
Superfamily Libelluloidea
Family Corduliidae
Genus Epitheca
Species semiaquea (Burmeister, 1839) [Libellula]
syn diffinis (nomen nudum) Hagen,
syn diffinis Selys, 1871 [Cordulia]
syn semiaquea calverti Muttkowski, 1915


Identification

This species has a broad abdomen that is never constricted behind segment 3, but tapers regularly after segment 6. The hindwings are often broadly colored with brown out past the 4th antenodal crossvein, to the level of the nodus or nearly so. This maculation is variable in specimens within the south-central United States, however, and can be confused with maculated individuals of Common Baskettail (E. cynosura). The abdomen is widest and shortest of all our Baskettails. Segments 4-6 are wider than long. The male cerci are widely divergent dorsally and the female caudal appendages are short, between 1.2 and 1.5 mm long.

Size

Total length: 34-38 mm; abdomen: 24-30 mm; hindwing: 24-31 mm

Similar Species

Common Baskettails with extensive markings on the hindwing are similar, but these markings don't reach the hind margin of the wing and rarely extend out to the nodus.

Habitat

Lakes and ponds with submerged and emergent vegetation.

Discussion

This species has only recently been discovered in Oklahoma. Little has been reported on the behavior of this species, but it is often found perched on twigs and bushes in open clearings; sometimes in large numbers. Eastern individuals have more extensive maculation in the hindwing.

Distribution

Eastern U.S. along coast and Oklahoma and Texas.