Ebony Jewelwing (Calopteryx maculata)

Ebony Jewelwing (Calopteryx maculata)

Photograph by Carol Muth

Ebony Jewelwing (Calopteryx maculata), also called the Black-winged Damselfly, is an insect in the Calopterygidae (Broad-winged Damselflies) family. The order is Odonata (Dragon Flies and Damselflies) and suborder, Zygoptera (Damselflies). The genus name is from the Greek for "beautiful wing." The species name is Latin for "spotted," referring to the few white spots on the wings particularly the prominent white spots on the female's wing tips. The photograph above shows a male on a leaf near French Hill Pond.

These insects can grow to a body length of just over two inches (55 centimeters). The male body is metallic green and his wings are black. The female body is dark brown and her wings are more brown. Most damselflies will stay near water but the Ebony Jewelwing will venture into nearby woods.

Ebony Jewelwings mate during summer. The eggs are laid on water plants and hatch into pale brown naiads. The naiads eat small aquatic insects. The adults eat a variety of small insects including mosquitoes and houseflies. They seek shelter on a variety of plants including the Spatterdock (Yellow Pond Lily) and Cattails all of which are abundant in French Hill Pond.

 

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