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Hine's Emerald (Somatochlora hineana)


Overview

Overview


Hine's Emerald Dragonfly (Somatochlora hineana), a Federal and State Endangered dragonfly, has been found in small cool calcareous marshy streams on bedrock. The flight period extends from early to late July.

State status

Status and Natural Heritage Inventory documented occurrences in Wisconsin

The table below provides information about the protected status - both state and federal - and the rank (S and G Ranks) for Hine's Emerald (Somatochlora hineana). See the Working List Key for more information about abbreviations. Counties shaded blue have documented occurrences for this species in the Wisconsin Natural Heritage Inventory database. The map is provided as a general reference of where this species has been found to date and is not meant as a range map.

Documented locations of Somatochlora hineana in the Natural Heritage Inventory Database as of March 2012.

Summary Information
State StatusEND
Federal Status in WisconsinLE
State RankS1
Global RankG2G3
Tracked by NHIY

Species guidance


Note: a species guidance document is not available at this time. Information below was compiled from publication PUB-ER-085-99 (now out-of-print).

Identification: The adult Hine's emerald dragonfly is distinguished from all other dragonfly species by the following combination of characteristics: its brilliant, emerald green eyes, dark brown and metallic green thorax with two creamy-yellow lateral lines, distinct terminal appendages of the male and ovipositor of the female. Newly emerged (teneral) adults have brown eyes that turn bright emerald green after a few days. The wings are transparent with amber tinting at the base of the hind wing. Individuals tend to develop darker tinting on both pairs of wings as they become older. The wingspan ranges from 90-95 mm. The total length ranges from 60 to 65 mm.

The larva (nymph, naiad) is approximately 25 mm. in length and is light to dark brown when mature. The body is densely clothed with coarse setae (hair).

Habitat: Hine's emerald larval habitat appears to be cool shallow, slow moving waters (usually only several centimeters deep), spring-fed marshes, and seepage sedge meadows. Most larvae have been found in shallow water of narrow channels, as well as along edges of channel marsh. Exuviae have also been found in seepage sedge meadow. Larval habitat also includes sheet flow through spring-fed seepage marsh. The larval stage may extend from two to four years depending on local weather conditions. Larvae and possibly some eggs may overwinter. Adults usually fly over open areas of herbaceous vegetation and sometimes roads. Meadows and fields with scattered groups of shrubs near breeding habitat seem particularly attractive to feeding adults. Depending on weather conditions, the flight season extends from early July through August. Adults may live from 5 to 6 weeks.

State Distribution: Occurs in the northern half of Door County.

Phenology: After adults emerge they spend a few days feeding before they return to breeding areas. Males then establish and defend breeding territories (small areas of shallow water) by hovering and pivoting over the water's surface. As females approach, males pursue and mate with them. On her return the female lays eggs by repeatedly plunging the tip of the abdomen into shallow water. Metamorphosis starts to take place as the final instar matures. Mature larvae crawl out of the water onto nearby plant stems or anything providing support. The skin splits on the back of the head and thorax, and the adult emerges, leaving the exuviae behind. After a few hours, the adult is ready to feed. The larval stage may extend from two to four years depending on local climatic conditions. Larvae and possibly some eggs may overwinter. Adults usually fly over open areas of herbaceous vegetation and sometimes roads. Meadows and fields with scattered groups of shrubs near breeding habitat seem particularly attractive to feeding adults.

Management Guidelines: Development of the land by agricultural and tourist/recreational industries is of concern here. Pesticide use at apple and cherry orchards is a potential threat. Non-point runoff and groundwater to surface water recharge are possible vehicles for water quality contamination by pesticides. Being struck by vehicles kills adults.

Photos / Video

Photos


Hine's Emerald  [Photo #1978]

Photo by Kathryn Kirk, WDNR.

Hine's Emerald  [Photo #10944]

Male Hine's Emerald.

Photo by W.A. Smith, WDNR.

Hine's Emerald  [Photo #10945]

Female Hine's Emerald with eggs.

Photo by W.A. Smith, WDNR.

Hine's Emerald  [Photo #10943]

Male Hine's Emerald.

Photo © Vic Berardi.

Hine's Emerald  [Photo #1976]

Photo by Kathryn Kirk, WDNR.

Hine's Emerald  [Photo #1066]

Wisconsin must play a major role in the conservation of the globally rare and federally endangered Hines emerald dragonfly. Several of this species most important known breeding sites are alkaline wetlands on the Door Peninsula.

Photo by Kathryn Kirk, WDNR.


Last revised: Tuesday, September 09, 2014