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Eastern Amberwing (Perithemis tenera)

Detailing the identifying qualities of the Eastern Amberwing, including physical features and territorial reach.

 Updated: 11/14/2014; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©

  Eastern Amberwing  
Picture of Eastern-Amberwing
Picture of Eastern-Amberwing

The Eastern Amberwing is a fiery dragonfly that adds a flash of red fury as it flies low above the water.

This dragonfly stays low, close to the water's surface, as it flies, feeding on small insects. Males stake a claim on a shoreline territory, preferring areas where vegetation and wood bits stick out of the water. Females will enter a male's territory to mate and she will then lay her eggs in the water by tapping the tip of her abdomen just at the surface. The eggs will spread out and eventually hatch naiads (larvae), which will spend their lives underwater feeding on other small aquatic insects. Once they are ready for a final molt into adulthood, they will crawl out of the water onto logs, branches or other sturdy wood and molt one last time into a winged adult.

Eastern Amberwings are found near bodies of water like streams, creeks, marshes, ponds and lagoons. They are small dragonflies that might be mistaken for wasps when they flick their tails. They are most active on sunny days.

Eastern Amberwing Information

Category: Dragonfly or Damselfly
Common Name: Eastern Amberwing
Scientific Name: Perithemis tenera
Other Name(s): Low-Flying Amberwing

Taxonomy Hierarchy

 Arrow graphic Kingdom: Animalia
  Arrow graphic Phylum: Arthropoda
   Arrow graphic Class: Insecta
    Arrow graphic Order: Odonata
     Arrow graphic Family: Libellulidae
      Arrow graphic Genus: Perithemis
       Arrow graphic Species: tenera

Size, Identifying Tags and Territorial Reach

Size (Adult, Length): Size (Adult, Length): 20 mm to 25 mm (0.78 inches to 0.975 inches)
Identifying Colors: orange, red, white, brown
Additional Descriptors: flying

North American Territorial Reach (Though Not Limited To): Alabama; Arkansas; Connecticut; Delaware; Florida; Georgia; Illinois; Indiana; Iowa; Kansas; Kentucky; Louisiana; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; Michigan; Minnesota; Mississippi; Missouri; Nebraska; New Hampshire; New Jersey; New Mexico; New York; North Carolina; North Dakota; Ohio; Oklahoma; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; South Carolina; South Dakota; Tennessee; Texas; Vermont; Virginia; West Virginia; Wisconsin; Wyoming; New Brunswick; Newfoundland and Labrador; Nova Scotia; Ontario; Prince Edward Island; Quebec; Mexico

A Note About Territorial Reach: Keep in mind that an insect's reach is not limited by lines drawn on a map and therefore species may appear in areas, regions and/or states beyond those listed above. Insects are driven by environmental factors, food supplies and mating patterns and do not nescessarily work within hard-and-fast territorial lines like we humans do.

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