The family Calopterygidae belongs in Zygoptera, or damselflies, and is not a true dragonfly (Anisoptera). Members of this group live in lotic-erosional and depositional habitats and tend to be found along the margins of streams, in areas of moderate or slower flow, where there is detritus. They are stiff-looking climbers on roots, plant stems, and debris at edges of slowly flowing streams. They are engulfing predators that actively stalk their prey then snatch it up with their labial mask, an arm-like extremity that extends from below the face. The adults of this group are often dark winged with slender iridescent green-blue bodies.
Mid-Atlantic: 5 - 6
Upper Midwest: 5 - 6
Midwest: 2.8 - 3.7
Southeast: 6.2 - 8.3
Engulfer / Predator
+ Expanded Character List
Order: Nymph with mask-like labium below chewing mouthparts. Wings developing in wing pads. Segmented legs present, each with two claws.
Family: Suborder Zygoptera (i.e., damselflies: as shown by slender body shape, head wider than thorax and abdomen; 3 long feather-like gills present at posterior end of abdomen). First antennal segment long, each subequal to length of rest of its antenna. Labial mask with deep, open, diamond-shaped, median cleft at apex. Lateral gills at posterior end of abdomen triangular in cross section.