Ebony Jewelwing

Calopteryx maculata

Stephen R. Mirick

The Ebony Jewelwing is a damselfly. Damselflies are closely related to dragonflies and they look very much alike. The easiest way to tell dragonflies and damselflies apart is to look at the wings. Dragonfly wings stick straight out from the body when the dragonfly is resting. Damselfly wings usually fold back above the body.

Ebony Jewelwings grow up to two inches long. Males are larger and have a big black head, green body, and black wings. Females also have black wings, but they have a lighter colored body. They also have a white spot on their wings.

©www.twofrog.com

Stephen R. Mirick

Ebony Jewelwings are found wherever there are shady forest streams. When they fly they look a lot like a butterfly because they flutter. They often stop to rest on leaves or twigs.

Jewelwings mate in the summer. The male grabs the female behind her head with his tail (the end of his abdomen).

After mating, female jewelwings lay eggs inside soft stems of water plants. Eggs hatch into larvae called naiads. Ebony Jewelwing naiads eat small aquatic insects. When they are fully grown, the naiads crawl out of the water and molt (leave their old skin). The adult jewelwing can soon fly off and look for a mate.

Copyright, Jim Durbin

Ohio History Central

Ebony Jewelwings can be seen flying from May to August. They eat large numbers of gnats, aphids, flies, and other insects.

Predators of jewelwings include birds, bats, and dragonflies. The young naiads may be eaten by fish, turtles, and other insects, such as Large Diving Beetles.

Ebony Jewelwings also may fly far from water. They can be seen in the middle of the woods, whereas most damselflies and dragonflies are usually seen near ponds, lakes, or rivers.

Additional Media

Description
Type
Credit
Damselfly's Head Under a Microscope
Link to Image
Uglybug.org

Relationships in Nature:

PREY
PREDATORS
SHELTER
OTHER

Asian Tiger Mosquito

Great Crested Flycatcher

Yellow Pond Lily

Giant Willow Aphid

American Robin

Hydrilla

Fungus Gnat

Big Brown Bat

Lizard's Tail

Crane Fly

Green Darner

Green Algae

Large Diving Beetle

Large Diving Beetle

Pickerelweed

Eastern Dobsonfly

Eastern Dobsonfly

Common Cattail

Water Flea

Mallard

Tussock Sedge

Green Darner

Eastern Painted Turtle

Greater Bladderwort

Aquatic Worm

Bluegill

Common Duckweed

Northern Caddis Fly

Largemouth Bass

Black Willow

Rotifer

Yellow Perch

Spotted Jewelweed

Copepod

Creek Chub

Spotted Joe-pye Weed

Scud

Channel Catfish

Poison Ivy

Dogwood Borer

Red-winged Blackbird

Wild Grape

Six-spotted Tiger Beetle

Blue Jay

Sassafras

Flatworm

Common Snapping Turtle

Greenbrier

Green Hydra

Southern Leopard Frog

Buttonbush

Common Carp

CommonWater Strider

Northern Hog Sucker

Relationship to Humans:

Ebony Jewelwings and other damselflies help people by eating large numbers of pesky insects, including mosquitos.

SCIENTIFIC CLASSIFICATION

KINGDOM
Animal
PHYLUM
Arthropod
CLASS
Insect
ORDER
Odonata
FAMILY
Calopterygidae
GENUS
Calopteryx
SPECIES
Calopteryx maculata

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