Ebony Jewelwing (Calopteryx maculata)
Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Ebony Jewelwing.
Updated: 6/2/2018; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
The gleaming, slender bodies and jet-black wings of the Ebony Jewelwing are traits to look out for when trekking near water.
Damselfies are smaller than dragonflies and have thinner bodies. They hang out in the same environment, however. Ebony Jewelwings have shiny, metallic blue-green bodies. The wings, slightly shorter than the abdomen, are a rich, matte black color. Females have a small, bright white oval at the tip of all four of their wings, which males lack. An Ebony Jewelwing can wander quite a distance inland from water sources, but is more likely to be spotted at the bank of a marsh, pond, lake or stream. Males are highly territorial, circling intruders to protect their real estate. Males and females of this species of Damselfly communicate to each other using their wings. They make a faintly audible sound by snapping their wings together.
The male flies on the back of a female it is mating with in order to guard her from other males while she lays fertilized eggs. Eggs are wedged into the stems of aquatic plants. The naiads (hatched young) do not look like Damselflies, but more like predatory insects. They eat other small creatures that live in or fall into the water including beetles, fleas, and small crustaceans. They leave the water when they have grown and developed enough to molt into a winged adult on land.