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Incurvate Emerald (Somatochlora incurvata)



Warpaint emerald (Somatochlora incurvata), a State Endangered dragonfly, occurs has been found in spring-fed bogs, poor fens, and heaths. Wisconsin larval habitat is central poor fens with sphagnum moss. The flight period extends from mid July through late August.

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 Incurvate Emerald (Somatochlora incurvata). 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 occurrences of this species meet NHI data standards and is not meant as a comprehensive map of all observations.

Note: Species recently added to the NHI Working List may temporarily have blank occurrence maps.

Documented locations of Somatochlora incurvata in the Natural Heritage Inventory Database as of July 2015.
Summary Information
State StatusEND
Federal Status in Wisconsinnone
State RankS2S3
Global RankG5
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: Adults are 49-50 mm with the abdomen being 38-47 mm and the hind wing being 31-37 mm long. Face is very dark, with a shiny black labrum (upper or front lip), yellow ante-clypeus (front shield-like process on the anterior portion of the head) and brown post-clypeus (back shield-like process on the anterior portion of the head) with lower yellow border. The frons is shiny metallic green, with a cinnamon brown band, and a yellow band below that. The thorax is thinly clad with long whitish hairs, and brown in front, with green reflections. Wings have brown tinge, but more deeply in the females. The abdomen is brown. The larva of this species has only recently been discovered and is in the process of being described.

Habitat: Breeding confirmed in only a few wetland sites. Habitats include sphagnum pools 10-40 cm deep in Carex oligosperma dominated poor fens with broad leaved sedges, probably Carex rostrata and others, wire-leaved sedges and occasional spike rushes (one site). Carex oligosperma is present at all sites. The pH one pool where larvae were collected was 5.6. Wisconsin habitats are in large wetland complexes on a glacial lake bed, often adjacent to sandy uplands (old beach ridges) consisting of jackpine, red pine, and northern pin oak. Larvae are found clinging to the underside of sphagnum mounds at pool edges, in partially decomposed, dark brown sphagnum and sedges that camouflages the larval body color. Two larvae were collected in a pool surrounded by sedges only, with no Sphagnum, but Sphagnum was present at all other sites. Other species that are found in the same pools with S. incurvata include Libellula quadrimaculata and Aeshna verticalis. Larvae that are found in the same wetlands include the rare Williamsonia fletcheri.

State Distribution: Occurs in the bed of former Glacial Lake Wisconsin in eastern Jackson and western Adams Counties.

Phenology: Larvae live in sites which may have very little water and may be specially adapted to seasonal drought situations. Egg laying was noted in very little water, in one case in the water filled depression left by a footstep in sphagnum moss. Breeding behavior of the adults is typical for the genus.

Management Guidelines: See the Somatochlora discussion section.



Incurvate Emerald

Female Incurvate Emerald.

Photo © Andy Paulios.

Incurvate Emerald

Female Incurvate Emerald.

Photo © Andy Paulios.

Incurvate Emerald

Male Incurvate Emerald.

Photo © Andy Paulios.

Incurvate Emerald

Male Incurvate Emerald.

Photo © Andy Paulios.

Last revised: Wednesday, November 07, 2018