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Hine's Emerald Dragonfly

Somatochlora Hineana

The Hine's emerald dragonfly is relatively large, its wings span about 3.3 inches.

Hine’s emerald dragonfly is listed by the IUCN as "Endangered."
Distinctive Looking Dragonfly Threatened by Habitat Loss

As its name implies, Hine’s emerald dragonfly has distinctive emerald eyes and a metallic green body with yellow stripes along the sides. Relatively large, its wings span about 3.3 inches.

Hine’s emerald dragonfly spends the majority of its life in the larval stage. Nymphs hatch and live in marshes high in calcium carbonate or sedge meadows over dolomite bedrock, where they prey mostly on other aquatic insects. Molting many times, the dragonfly eventually crawls onto land after 2-4 years, sheds its skin a final time and emerges a flying adult.

Adults live only a brief 2-6 weeks, feeding mostly on insects they catch in the air. Within 7-10 days of emergence, adult males establish and begin patrolling territories - defending them against other males and mating with females who enter. Females lay more than 500 eggs by dipping the tip of their body into shallow water as many as 200 times. 

Both the United States and the IUCN list the species as Endangered. Its main threat is habitat loss and destruction. Many of the wetlands vital to its survival are drained for urban and industrial uses. Contamination of habitat by pesticides and other pollutants and changes in ground water also negatively impact the species. Believed to be extirpated in Alabama, Indiana and Ohio, Hine’s emerald dragonfly is now found only in Illinois, Michigan, Missouri and Wisconsin. The largest population is in Door Country, Wisconsin.

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