Ebony Jewelwing (Calopteryx maculata)
Detailing the identifying qualities of the Ebony Jewelwing, including physical features and territorial reach.
Updated: 8/25/2017; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
Metallic, slender bodies and jet-black wings make the male and female Ebony Jewelwing a special sight for those 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 that the males lack. They can wander quite a distance from water sources, but are 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 can produce a small sound by snapping their wings together.
The male flies on the back of a female it is mating with to guard her from other males while she lays fertilized eggs in the stems of aquatic plants. The naiads (hatched young) do not look like Damselflies, but more like insects. They eat insects that live or fall into the water including beetles, fleas, and small crustaceans. They will leave the water when they have grown and developed enough to molt into a winged adult on land.