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Somatochlora margarita

Donnelly, 1962


Order Odonata
Suborder Anisoptera
Superfamily Libelluloidea
Family Corduliidae
Genus Somatochlora
Species margarita Donnelly, 1962 [Somatochlora]


Identification

This species has a largely pale face and the top of the head is metallic blue. The eyes are brilliant iridescent green in older individuals. The thorax is brown with bluish-green reflections and two well-developed pale lateral stripes. The first is slightly narrower than the latter. The legs are entirely black and the wings are clear. The abdomen is dark brown with metallic reflections. The basal segments are marked with pale yellow. Segment 3 has a conspicuous pale triangular spot anterolaterally. Segments 4-8 each have obscure pale spots anterolaterally.

Size

Total length: 50-54 mm; abdomen: 32-41 mm; hindwing: 32-37 mm.

Similar Species

This species is closely related to Ozark (S. ozarkensis ) and Fine-lined (S. filosa ) Emeralds, but it has obscure pale basal spots present on abdominal segments 4-8.

Habitat

Small, sandy forest streams, with moderate current.

Discussion

This species is endemic to the long-leaf and loblolly pine forests of southeastern Texas. It is uncommon and until recently hadn't been seen more than a few km from its type locality, in the Sam Houston National Forest. Its initial range has been expanded to a now estimated 16,000 km area in east Texas and western Louisiana. I reported it from Louisiana in 1996 and expanded its range north and west with a single female found at Engeling Wildlife Management Area in Anderson County, Texas. Little is known and nothing apart from the original description is published on the behavior of this species. It flies high at tree top level, along dirt roads. Females occasionally come down into open fields or forest clearings to feed. They fly in the early morning and late afternoon to dusk, as is usual for the genus.

Distribution

Piney woods of East Texas and Louisiana