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Broad-winged Damselflies

BroadwingsTo learn more about the groups (genera) of Broadwinged Damsels, click on the links at left.

Most of these large damselflies have a metallic green, blue or bronze body coloration depending upon how the light hits them.  Jewelwings have black wings or half black wings, while the Rubyspots show a red patch on the base of the wings.  Females in both genera are generally similar in color to the males but not as bright and with reduced wing markings.  In most species, the females have white stigmas while the male lacks a stigma entirely.  All species have long black legs.

This is the only family of damselflies in which the males exhibit courtship behavior  and the females exercise the choice of mates.  The males will hover and dance in front of a female until they are either accepted or rejected. The females curve their abdomens upward and spread their wings to indicate they are not ready to mate with this particular partner.

The broad-winged damselflies are usually found around streams perched horizontally on vegetation.  Unlike other odonates,  females will spend almost as much time near water as the males.  These damselflies have a fluttering flight much like that of a butterfly.

The females lay eggs in plant tissues often crawling down a plant stem a foot beneath the water's surface.  In some species, the male will hover-guard over the female to prevent other males from mating with her.

The larvae of these damselflies are long and slender and very stiff-bodied. They are usually found in streams and rivers clinging to underwater roots and vegetation  waiting for the water current to bring them food.  Emergence usually takes place on vegetation or rocks along the water's edge.

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