Sunday, April 15, 2018

Appalachian Jewelwing Damselfly Habitats: Green Body, See-Through Wing

Summary: North American Appalachian jewelwing damselfly habitats from south of New York to Gulf Coast states glow with metallic green bodies and see-through wings.

Appalachian jewelwing Calopteryx angustipennis in West Virginia: Virginia (VPeters_Schultz) via Twitter Aug. 20, 2017

North American Appalachian jewelwing damselfly habitats accord with arboriculture, master gardening, master naturalism and tree stewardship along cold, fast-flowing, large, rocky rivers and streams in mountain distribution ranges south of New York.
Appalachian jewelwings bear their common name as Appalachia-dwelling damselflies and the scientific name Calopteryx angustipennis (beautiful wing, narrow wing) from iridescently green-veined leading edges to wings. Common names convey the consensus of scientific committees convened by the Dragonfly Society of the Americas, publisher of Argia and of the Bulletin of American Odonatology. Scientific designations date back to descriptions in 1853 by Michel Edmond de Sélys Longchamps (May 25, 1813-Dec. 11, 1900), damselfly and dragonfly authority from Paris, France.
Appalachian jewelwing damselfly lifespans expect clean, clear, rock-bottomed rivers and streams with stony, sunlit outcrops amid moderate currents and with vegetated banks within open, sunny woodlands.

April through July function as maximum, most southerly flight seasons even though May through June furnish wildlife mapping opportunities throughout all Appalachian jewelwing damselfly habitat niches.
Adult females and males gather at perches amid low-lying vegetation on river or stream banks or atop rocks within river or stream currents during sunny weather. Males hasten to the sunniest waters to highlight their bright-veined wings and hone swift flight patterns that head toward, and herd into close circles, other males. Interactions among males include scattered involvement of two- to three-member groups while those of males with females involve floating downstream to identify current speed for egg-laying.
Ants, biting midges, ducks, falcons, fish, flycatchers, frogs, grebes, lizards, robber flies, spiders and water beetles, bugs and mites jeopardize North American Appalachian jewelwing damselfly habitats.

Immature female and male Appalachian jewelwing damselflies keep to duller, lighter, more faded, paler colors on narrower, shorter, smaller abdomens, heads, thoraxes and wings than adults. They live as larvae, naiads or nymphs, underwater hatchlings of jelly-like substance-laden eggs, and then as molted, out-of-water, winged, pre-adults labeled tenerals for soft, tender exteriors. They move from immature into mature stages by managing self-feeding through mobile jaw- and mashing mouth-parts and by metamorphosing through underwater, wingless and out-of-water, winged molts. Jewelwing members of the Calopterygidae broad-winged damselfly family need aphids, beetles, borers, caddisflies, copepods, crane flies, dobsonflies, gnats, leafhoppers, mosquitoes, rotifers, scuds, water fleas and worms.
North American Appalachian jewelwing damselfly habitats offer season-coldest temperatures, northward to southward, from minus 10 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 23.33 to minus 12.22 degrees Celsius).

Beech, dogwood, hazel, holly, honeysuckle, horse-chestnut, laurel, madder, magnolia, maple, mulberry, pea, pine, plane, rose, rue, sour-gum, walnut and willow families promote Appalachian jewelwing life cycles.
Amber or clear wings without white stigma-spotted tips, green abdomens with dull-colored, large tips and metallic green thoraxes with brown undersides quicken black-legged, pale-mandibled female identifications. Black-legged, brown-eyed, pale-mandibled males reveal amber or clear wings, with green-veined leading edges and without black patterns or white spots, and metallic green abdomens and thoraxes. Adults showcase  respective head-body and hindwing lengths of 1.97 to 2.64 inches (50 to 67 millimeters) and of 1.29 to 1.58 inches (33 to 40 millimeters).
Dark wings, shorter bodies and wings and white stigmata tell on ebony, river, sparkling and superb jewelwing damselflies in overlapping North American Appalachian jewelwing damselfly habitats.

Appalachian jewelwing Calopteryx angustipennis, collected June 26, 2015, in Lee County, westernmost Virginia: lab_bugs via Instagram June 26, 2015

My special thanks to talented artists and photographers/concerned organizations who make their fine images available on the internet.

Image credits:
Appalachian jewelwing Calopteryx angustipennis in West Virginia: Virginia (VPeters_Schultz) via Twitter Aug. 20, 2017, @
Appalachian jewelwing Calopteryx angustipennis, collected June 26, 2015, in Lee County, westernmost Virginia: lab_bugs via Instagram June 26, 2015, @

For further information:
Abbott, John C. Dragonflies and Damselflies of Texas and the South-Central United States: Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico. Princeton NJ; Oxford UK: Princeton University Press, 2005.
Beaton, Giff. Dragonflies & Damselflies of Georgia and the Southeast. Athens GA; London UK: University of Georgia Press, 2007.
Berger, Cynthia. Dragonflies. Mechanicsburg PA: Stackpole Books: Wild Guide, 2004.
Bright, Ethan. "Calopteryx Leach, 1815 (Jewelwings)." Aquatic Insects of Michigan > Odonata (Dragon- and Damselflies) of Michigan > Zygoptera, Selys, 1854 > Calopterygidae, Selys, 1850 (Broadwinged Damselflies).
Available @
"Calopteryx angustipennis." James Cook University-Medusa: The Odonata - Dragonflies and Damselflies > Zygoptera > Calopterygidae > Calopteryx.
Available via James Cook University-Medusa @
labbugs. 26 June 2015. "Calopteryx angustipennis." Instagram.
Available @
Paulson, Dennis. Dragonflies and Damselflies of the East. Princeton NJ: Princeton University Press, Princeton Field Guides, 2011.
Sélys Longchamps, Edmond de. 1854. "Synopsis des Caloptérygines (Lu à la séance du 29 juillet 1853): 2. Sylphis angustipennis, De Selys." Bulletins de l'Académie Royale des Sciences, des Lettres et des Beaux-Arts de Belgique: Annexe aux Bulletins 1853-1854: 9. Bruxelles (Brussels), Belgium: M. Hayez.
Virginia @VPeters_Schultz. "Similar coloring. Here's an Appalachian Jewelwing I caught on camera in WV." Twitter, Aug. 20, 2017.
Available via Twitter @

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