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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Ebony Jewelwing - Calopteryx maculata


Global Rank: G5
State Rank: SNR

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General Description
This is a large damselfly about 1 ¾ to 2 ¼ inches long (45 to 52 mm). The body is robust, especially in the females. The abdoman color is an unmistakable iridescent green or blue. The entire wing is black with white stigmas. Flight can look erratic with the black wings, as they are weak but graceful flyers.

Diagnostic Characteristics
This is a large damselfly about 1 ¾ to 2 ¼ inches long (45 to 52 mm). The body is robust, especially in the females. The color is an unmistakable iridescent green or blue. The entire wing is black, whereas the River Jewelwing is only partially colored.

Range Comments
Known from one damaged larval specimen reported on the Tongue River. Could be found throughout the southeastern part of Montana in larger warm-water prairie rivers, although we haven't seen any on the Powder River with extensive sampling efforts.

Habitat
The Ebony Jewelwing is found in larger warm water streams and rivers with lots of riparian shade. Optimum habitats have sufficient submergent vegetation present (Nikula et al. 2002, Acorn 2004, Paulson 2009).

Food Habits
Larvae feed on a wide variety of aquatic insects, such as mosquito larvae, other aquatic fly larvae, mayfly larvae, and freshwater shrimp.
Adult- This damselfly will eat almost any soft-bodied flying insect including mosquitoes, flies, small moths, mayflies, and flying ants or termites.

References
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Citation for data on this website:
Ebony Jewelwing — Calopteryx maculata.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from