Archilestes californica
(California Spreadwing)

Order: Odonata
Suborder: Zygoptera
Order Description:
Family: Lestidae
Family Description: Spreadwing

   Naiad- This is a long naiad 1 to 1 ¼ inches (25 to 30 mm) long. It has the typical slender damselfly shape. The coloration is dark brown with a light stripe down the center of the upper surface of the abdomen.
   Adult- This is a large damselfly 1 ¾ to 2 ¼ inches (41 to 55 mm) long. The build is slender with short wings in proportion to the length of the abdomen. The thorax is black with no iridescent green or bronze. This is Idaho's largest Spreadwing.

This damselfly is found from south-central Washington south to Baja California, Arizona, and New Mexico, and east to western Idaho. In Idaho it is found only in the lower Clearwater River valley.

This species is found at slow streams.

Adult Flight Season:
October 2 to October 16

   Naiad- A wide variety of aquatic insects, including mosquito larvae, mayfly larvae, and other aquatic fly larvae.
   Adult- A wide variety of small soft-bodied flying insects, such as mosquitoes, mayflies, flies and small moths.

The naiads live in pools and backeddies. The adult damselfly perches on vegetation with its wings spread. It's found at slow streams in the warmest areas of our state.

After males and females mate, the female California Spreadwing oviposits in tandem (with the male attached) in vegetation that overhangs slow streams. The eggs overwinter and hatch in the spring.

Populations are widespread, abundant, and secure.
Status: Unprotected nongame species
Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S?

Corbet, P. S. 1999. Dragonflies: Behavior and Ecology of Odonata. Cornell University Press, Ithaca, New York, USA, 829pp.

Logan, E. R. 1967. The Odonata of Idaho. Unpublished M. S. thesis. University of Idaho, Moscow, Idaho, USA, 105 pp.

Needham, J. G. and M. J. Westfall. 1955. Dragonflies of North America. University of California Press, Berkely, California, USA, 615 pp.

Paulson, D. R. 1999. Dragonflies of Washington. Seattle Audubon Society, Seattle, Washington, USA, 32 pp.

Walker, E. M. and P. S. Corbet. 1975. The Odonata of Canada and Alaska, Vol. III. University of Toronto Press, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, 307 pp.

Written by Mark Lung and Stefan Sommer, 2001
Photos by Dennis Paulson, 2001
Design by Ean Harker, 2001.

HTML by Marty Peck, 2001.