NOAA logo

Great Lakes Sea Grant Extention Office at GLERL Header

Logo and Link to the Great Lakes Sea Grant Network (GLSGN) Logo and Link to the Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory Home Page

Great Lakes Waterlife Photo Gallery
Aquatic Insects of the Great Lakes
Diptera - Flies, Midges and Mosquitos

  
Browse

Most Odonata nymphs are restricted to littoral or tributary benthos. Winged adults are often associated with emergent macrophytes (e.g., wetlands) or in nearshore terrestrial habitats. Both adults and nymphs are raptorial predators.

Keys to Odonata Nymphs

Note on juvenile stages - Nymphs are active stages. Nymphs have rudimentary wings (or wing buds) and usually have jointed legs (usually 3 pair) similar to adults. Nymphs are most easily identified to species when individuals are mature (late instar).

Odonata Nymphs - Key to the Suborders

Leucorrhinia intacta

Gills in the posterior digestive tract.

Suborder Anisoptera
(Dragonfly nymphs)

Lestidae

Gills consist of 3 flat external plates at the posterior end.

Suborder Zygoptera
(Damselfly nymphs)

Keys to Families and Genera

- Pennak. 1978. Freshwater Invertebrates of the United States. Second Edition
- Odonata Larvae of Michigan.
- University of Michigan Dearborn - Environmental Interpretive Center - Identifying Aquatic Insects
- Digital Key to Aquatic Insects of North Dakota

See also:

- An Introduction to Insect Life Cycles
- The Hooper Virtual Natural History Museum

return to the top

Keys to Adult Odonata

Key to the Suborders

Leucorrhinia hudsonica

Stout build, Strong sustained flight. Wings held flat when perched.

Anisoptera
Dragonflies

Calopteryx maculata

Slight build. Weak, fluttery flight. Wings held over back when perched (except spreadwings)

Zygoptera
Damselflies

Keys to Families and Genera

- Mead, K. 2003. Dragonflies of the North Woods. Kollath-Stensaas Publishing
- Generic key to adult North American dragonflies
- BugGuide
- Key to some families of Odonata
- Field Key to Adult California Dragonflies (Odonata)
- Families of Odonata
- Discover Life: Anisoptera ID
- Damselfly Family Key
- Adult Key to the Odonate Families of Florida

return to the top

Species List

  • Suborder
    • Family
      • Genus
        • Species - common name
  • Suborder Anisoptera
    • Aeschnidae (Darners)
      • Aeschna spp.
        • Aeschna canadensis - Canada darner
        • Aeschna clepsydra - mottled darner
        • Aeschna constricta - lance-tipped darner
        • Aeschna eremita - lake darner
        • Aeschna interrupta - variable darner
        • Aeschna juncea - sedge darner
        • Aeschna maritimus -
        • Aeschna mutata - spatterdock darner
        • Aeschna sitchensis - zigzag darner
        • Aeschna subarctica - subarctic darner
        • Aeschna tuberculifera - black-tipped darner
        • Aeschna umbrosa - shadow darner
        • Aeschna verticalis - green-striped darner
      • Anax sp.
        • Anax junius - common green darner
        • Anax longipes - comet darner
      • Basiaeschna sp.
        • Basiaeschna janata - springtime darner
      • Boyeria spp.
        • Boyeria grafiana - ocellated darner
        • Boyeria vinosa - fawn darner
      • Epiaeschna sp.
        • Epiaeschna heros - swamp darner
      • Gomphaeschna sp.
        • Gomphaeschna furcillata - harlequin darner
      • Nasiaeschna sp.
        • Nasiaeschna pentacantha - cyrano darner
    • Cordulegastridae (Spiketails)
      • Cordulegaster spp.
        • Cordulegaster (Zoraena) bilineata - brown spiketail
        • Cordulegaster (Zoraena) diastatops - delta-spotted spiketail
        • Cordulegaster (Thecophora) erronea - tiger spiketail
        • Cordulegaster (Thecophora) maculata - twin-spotted spiketail
        • Cordulegaster (Taeniogaster) obliqua - arrowhead spiketail
    • Corduliidae (Emeralds)
      • Cordulia sp.
        • Cordulia shurtleffi - american emerald
      • Dorocordulia sp.
        • Dorocordulia libera - racket-tailed emerald
      • Epitheca spp.
        • Epitheca (Tetragoneuria) canis - beaverpond baskettail
        • Epitheca (Tetragoneuria) costalis
        • Epitheca (Tetragoneuria) cynosura - common baskettail
        • Epitheca (Epicordulia) princeps - prince baskettail
        • Epitheca (Tetragoneuria) spinigera - spiny baskettail
      • Helocordulia sp.
        • Helocordulia uhleri - Uhler's sundragon
      • Neurocordulia sp.
        • Neurocordulia molesta - smoky shadowdragon
        • Neurocordulia obsoleta - umber shadowdragon
        • Neurocordulia yamaskanensis - stygian shadowdragon
      • Somatochlora spp.
        • Somatochlora albicinta - ringed emerald
        • Somatochlora cingulata - lake emerald
        • Somatochlora elongata - ski-tailed emerald
        • Somatochlora ensigera - plains emerald
        • Somatochlora charadraea
        • Somatochlora forcipata - forcipate emerald
        • Somatochlora franklini - delicate emerald
        • Somatochlora macrotana
        • Somatochlora hineana - Hine's emerald
        • Somatochlora hudsonica - Hudsonian emerald
        • Somatochlora incurvata - incurvate emerald
        • Somatochlora kennedyi - Kennedy's emerald
        • Somatochlora linearis - mocha emerald
        • Somatochlora lateralis
        • Somatochlora minor - ocellated emerald
        • Somatochlora tenebrosa - clamp-tipped emerald
        • Somatochlora walshii - brush-tipped emerald
        • Somatochlora williamsoni - Williamson's emerald
      • Williamsonia spp.
        • Williamsonia fletcheri - ebony boghunter (ebony boghaunter)
        • Williamsonia lintneri - ringed boghaunter
    • Gomphidae (Clubtails)
      • Arigomphus spp.
        • Arigomphus cornutus - horned clubtail
        • Arigomphus furcifer - lilypad clubtail
        • Arigomphus submedianus - jade clubtail
        • Arigomphus villosipes - unicorn clubtail
      • Dromogomphus spp.
        • Dromogomphus spinosus - black-shouldered spinyleg
        • Dromogomphus spoliatus - flag-tailed spinyleg
      • Erpetogomphus sp.
        • Erpetogomphus designatus
      • Gomphus spp.
        • Gomphus (Hylogomphus) adelphus - mustached clubtail
        • Gomphus alleni
        • Gomphus borealis - beaverpond clubtail
        • Gomphus brevis
        • Gomphus (Gomphurus) crassus
        • Gomphus descriptus - harpoon clubtail
        • Gomphus (Gomphus) exilis - lancet clubtail
        • Gompus externus - plains clubtail
        • Gomphus flavocaudatus
        • Gomphus (Gomphurus) fraternus - midland clubtail
        • Gomphus (Gomphus) graslinellus - pronghorn clubtail
        • Gomphus (Gomphruus) lineatifrons - splendid clubtail
        • Gomphus (Gomphus) lividus - ashy clubtail
        • Gomphus (Gomphus) quadricolor - rapids clubtail
        • Gomphus sordidus
        • Gomphus (Gomphus) spicatus - dusky clubtail
        • Gomphus umbratus
        • Gomphus (Gomphurus) vastus - cobra clubtail
        • Gomphus (Gomphurus) ventricosus - skillet clubtail
        • Gomphus (Hylogomphus) viridifrons - green-faced clubtail
        • Gomphus williamsoni
      • Hagenius sp.
        • Hagenius brevistylus - dragonhunter
      • Lanthus spp.
        • Lanthus parvulus - northern pygmy clubtail
        • Lanthus vernalis - southern pygmy clubtail
      • Ophiogomphus spp.
        • Ophiogomphus anomalus - extra-striped snaketail
        • Ophiogomphus carolinus
        • Ophiogomphus carolus - riffle snaketail
        • Ophiogomphus colubrinus - boreal snaketail
        • Ophiogomphus howei - pygmy snaketail
        • Ophiogomphus mainensis - Maine snaketail
        • Ophiogomphus pictus
        • Ophiogomphus rupinsulensis - rusty snaketail
        • Ophiogomphus smithi (alt aspersus)- sand snaketail
        • Ophiogomphus susbehcha - Wisconsin snaketail
      • Progomphus sp.
        • Progomphus obscurus - common sanddragon
      • Stylogomphus sp.
        • Stylogomphus albistylus - least clubtail
      • Stylurus spp.
        • Stylurus amnicola - riverine clubtail
        • Stylurus laurae -
        • Stylurus notatus - elusive clubtail
        • Stylurus plagiatus - russet-tipped clubtail
        • Stylurus scudderi - zebra clubtail
        • Stylurus spiniceps - arrow clubtail
    • Libellulidae - Skimmers
      • Celithemis spp.
        • Celithemis elisa - calico pennant
        • Celithemis eponina - halloween pennant
        • Celithemis fasciata - banded pennant
        • Celithemis monomelaena
      • Erythemis spp.
        • Erythemis simplicicollis - eastern pondhawk
      • Erythrodiplax sp.
        • Erythrodiplax berenice - seaside dragonlet
      • Ladona sp.
        • Ladona julia chalk-fronted corporal
      • Leucorrhinia spp.
        • Leucorrhinia frigida - frosted whiteface
        • Leucorrhinia glacialis - crimson-ringed whiteface
        • Leucorrhinia hudsonica - Hudsonian whiteface
        • Leucorrhinia intacta - dot-tailed whiteface
        • Leucorrhinia patricia - Canada whiteface
        • Leucorrhinia proxima - red-waisted whiteface
      • Libellula spp.
        • Libellula auripennis - golden-winged skimmer
        • Libellula basalis
        • Libellula basilinea
        • Libellula bifasciata
        • Libellula bistigma
        • Libellula confusa
        • Libellula cyanea - spangled skimmer
        • Libellula hersilia
        • Libellula incesta - slaty skimmer
        • Libellula julia - chalk-fronted corporal
        • Libellula luctuosa - widow skimmer
        • Libellula lydia - common Whitetail
        • Libellula maculata
        • Libellula odiosa
        • Libellula praenubila
        • Libellula pulchella - twelve-spotted skimmer
        • Libellula quadrimaculata - four-spotted skimmer
        • Libellula quadripunctata
        • Libellula quadrupla
        • Libellula relicta
        • Libellula semifasciata - painted skimmer
        • Libellula ternaria
        • Libellula versicolor
        • Libellula vibrans - great blue skimmer
      • Nannothemis sp.
        • Nannothemis bella - elfin skimmer
      • Pachydiplax sp.
        • Pachydiplax longipennis - blue dasher
      • Pantala spp.
        • Pantala flavescens - wandering glider
        • Pantala hymenaea - spot-winged glider
      • Perithemis sp.
        • Perithemis tenera - eastern amberwing
      • Plathemis sp.
        • Plathemis lydia - common whitetail
      • Sympetrum spp.
        • Sympetrum ambiguum - blue-faced meadowhawk
        • Sympetrum corruptum - variegated meadowhawk
        • Sympetrum costiferum - saffron-winged meadowhawk
        • Sympetrum danae - black meadowhawk
        • Sympetrum internum - cherry-faced meadowhawk
        • Sympetrum janeae - Jane's meadowhawk
        • Sympetrum obtrusum - white-faced meadowhawk
        • Sympetrum occidentale - western meadowhawk
        • Sympetrum rubicundulum - ruby meadowhawk
        • Sympetrum semicinctum - band-winged meadowhawk
        • Sympetrum vicinum - yellow-legged meadowhawk
      • Tramea spp.
        • Tramea carolina - Carolina saddlebags
        • Tramea lacerata - black saddlebags
        • Tramea onusta - red saddlebags
    • Macromiidae - Cruisers
      • Didymops spp.
        • Didymops transversa - stream cruiser
        • Didymops servillei
      • Macromia spp.
        • Macromia australensis
        • Macromia illinoiensis - Illinois river cruiser
        • Macromia pacifica - gilded river cruiser
        • Macromia taeniolata - royal river cruiser
    • Petaluridae - Petaltails
      • Tachopteryx sp.
        • Tachopteryx thoreyi - gray petaltail
  • Suborder Zygoptera
    • Calopterygidae (Jewelwings and Rubyspots)
      • Calopteryx spp.
        • Calopteryx aequabilis - river jewelwing
        • Calopteryx amata - superb jewelwing
        • Calopteryx angustipennis - Appalachian jewelwing
        • Calopteryx maculata - ebony jewelwing
      • Hetaerina spp.
        • Hetaerina americana - american rubyspot
        • Hetaerina titia - smoky rubyspot
    • Coenagrionidae
      • Amphiagrion sp.
        • Amphiagrion saucium - eastern red damsel
      • Argia spp.
        • Argia apicalis - blue-fronted dancer
        • Argia bipunctulata - seepage dancer
        • Argia fumipennis violacae - variable dancer
        • Argia moesta - powdered dancer
        • Argia sedula
        • Argia tibialis - blue-tipped dancer
        • Argia translata - dusky dancer
      • Chromagrion sp.
        • Chromagrion conditum - aurora damsel
      • Coenagrion spp.
        • Coenagrion interrogatum - subarctic bluet
        • Coenagrion resolutum - taiga bluet
      • Enallagma spp.
        • Enallagma anna
        • Enallagma antennatum - rainbow bluet
        • Enallagma aspersum - azure bluet
        • Enallagma fischeri
        • Enallagma basidens - double-striped bluet
        • Enallagma boreale - boreal bluet
        • Enallagma calverti
        • Enallagma carunculatum - tule bluet
        • Enallagma circulatum
        • Enallagma civile - familiar bluet
        • Enallagma culicinorum
        • Enallagma cyathigerum - northern bluet
          • Enallagma cyathigerum vernale
        • Enallagma divagans - turquoise bluet
        • Enallagma ebrium - marsh bluet
        • Enallagma exsulans - stream bluet
        • Enallagma geminatum - skimming bluet
        • Enallagma hageni - Hagen's bluet
        • Enallagma laurenti
        • Enallagma piscinarium
        • Enallagma signatum - orange bluet
        • Enallagma simile
        • Enallagma traviatum - slender bluet
        • Enallagma vesperum - vesper bluet
        • Enallagma yezoensis
      • Ischnura spp.
        • Ischnura hastata - citrine forktail
        • Ischnura kellicotti - lilypad forktail
        • Ischnura posita - fragile forktail
        • Ischnura verticalis - eastern forktail
      • Nehalennia spp.
        • Nehalennia gracilis - sphagnum sprite
        • Nehalennia irene - sedge sprite
        • Nehalennia carlotta
    • Lestidae (Spreadwings)
      • Archilestes sp.
        • Archilestes grandis - great spreadwing
      • Lestes spp.
        • Lestes congener - spotted spreadwing
        • Lestes disjunctus disjunctus - common spreadwing
        • Lestes disjunctus australis
        • Lestes dryas - emerald spreadwing
        • Lestes nympha
        • Lestes uncatus
        • Lestes eurinus - amber-winged spreadwing
        • Lestes forcipatus - sweetflag spreadwing
        • Lestes hamata
        • Lestes inaequalis - elegant spreadwing
        • Lestes rectangularis - slender spreadwing
        • Lestes unguiculatus - lyre-tipped spreadwing
        • Lestes vigilax - swamp spreadwing
      •  

Mead, K. 2003. Dragonflies of the North Woods

Bright, E. Aquatic Insects of Michigan. Museum of Zoology Insect Division and School of Natural Resources and Environment, University of Michigan.

Smith, et al. Checklist of Wisconsin Dragonflies. Wisconsin Entomological Society Miscellaneous Publication No. 2. June 1993.

USGS - Odonata of New York

USGS - Odonata of Pennsylvania

USGS - Odonata of Minnesota

return to the top

Browse Odonata by Genera

Dragonflies

Aeschna nymph
Anax junius nymph
Basiaeschna janata nymph
Boyeria nymph
Epiaeschna heros nymph
Aeschna constricta adult
Anax junius
Basiaeschia janata
Boyeria vinosa
Epiaeschna heros
Aeschna
Anax
Basiaeschna
Boyeria
Epiaeschna
Nasiaeschna
Cordulegaster maculata
Cordulia shurtleffi nymph
Gomphaeschna furcillata
Nasiaeschna pentacantha
Cordulegaster obliqua
Cordulia shurtleffi
Dorocordulia libera
Gomphaeschna
Nasiaeschna
Cordulegaster
Cordulia
Dorocordulia
Epitheca sp.
Neurocordulia nymph with Dreissenids
Somatochlora williamsoni nymph
Williamsonia sp.
Epitheca cynosura
Helocordulia uhleri
Neurocordulia obsoleta
Somatochlora hineana
Williamsonia fletcheri
Epitheca
Helocordulia
Neurocordulia
Somatochlora
Williamsonia
Dromogomphus sp. nymph
Erpetogomphus designatus nymph
Gomphus exilis nymph

Hagenius brevistylus

Arigomphus submedianus
Dromogomphus spinosus
Erpetogomphus designatus
Gomphus graselinellus
Hagenius brevistylus
Arigomphus
Dromogomphus
Erpetogomphus
Gomphus
Hagenius
Lanthus sp.
Ophiogomphus nymph

Progomphus obscurus nymph

Stylogomphus sp.
Stylurus scudderi nymph
Lanthus vernalis
Ophiogomphus rupinsulensis
Progomphus obscurus
Stylogomphus albistylus
Stylurus scudderi
Lanthus
Ophiogomphus
Progomphus
Stylogomphus
Stylurus
Celithemis faschiata

Erythermis simplicollis nymph

Ladona sp.
Leucorrhinia intacta nymph
Celithemis elisa
Erythemis simplicollis
Erythrodiplax berenice
Ladona julia
Leucorrhinia frigida
Celithemis
Erythemis
Erythrodiplax
Ladona
Leucorrhinia
Libellua nymph
Nannothemis sp.

Pachydiplax longipennis

Pantala flavescens nymph
Perithemis tenera nymph
Libellula cyanea
Nannothemis bella
Pachydiplax longipennis
Pantala flavescens
Perithemis tenera
Libellula
Nannothemis
Pachydiplax
Pantala
Perithemis
Plathemis sp
Sympetrum danae nymph

Tramea lacerata nymph

Didymops sp.

Macromia illinoisensis nymph

Platythelmis lydia
Sympetrum costiferum
Tramea onusta
Didymops transversa
Macromia illinoisensis
Plathemis
Sympetrum
Tramea
Didymops
Macromia
Tachopteryx thoreyi
Tachopteryx

Damselflies

Calopteryx aequabilis nymph
Hetaerina sp.
Argia translata
Calopteryx aequabilis
Hetaerina americana
Amphigrion saucium
Argia fumipennis
Calopteryx
Hetaerina
Amphiagrion
Argia
Coenagrion sp.
Enallagma basidens nymph
Ischnura verticalis nymph
Nehalennia speciosa
Chromagrion conditum
Coenogrion resolutum
Enallagma civile
Ischnura hastata
Nehalennia irene
Chromagrion
Coenagrion
Enallagma
Ischnura
Nehalennia
Archilestes grandis nymph
Lestes nymph
Archilestes grandis
Lestes disjunctus
Archilestes
Lestes

 

return to the top

Photos Courtesy of:

Additional Links and Photos

 


  
 
 
   
Sitemap | GLERL/Sea Grant Home | Great Lakes Water Life Photo Gallery | Insect Photo Gallery | Great Lakes Sea Grant Network
NOAA | DOC | Privacy Policy | Disclaimer | Accessibility Statement |

contact:
Great Lakes Environmental Research Lab, Sea Grant Lakes Network
2205 Commonwealth Blvd
Ann Arbor, MI 48105-2945
Phone: 734-741-2287
Fax: 734-741-2055