Of the nine species of this primarily Neotropical genus (five north of Mexico), one widely distributed species - Erythemis simplicicollis - occurs in Michigan, most commonly in the southern half of the Lower Peninsula (Map 1).
These small, stocky larvae are a common resident of marshy, often eutrophic ponds and lakes and sometimes slow sections of streams. They are often collected from loose, fine organic detritus in which they conceal themselves. Larvae are easily distinguished from other Michigan libellulid nymphs by the decurved cerci and paraprocts, their prominently striped green and brown eyes (this striping remains noticeable in specimens preserved in alcohol for long periods of time), lack of mid-dorsal hooks and lateral spines on the abdomen, and long, spiny legs.
Emergence occurs usually from late-May through June. I have reared larvae collected from Half-Moon Lake in Livingston Co., southern Michigan, in mid-April that emerged as adults in late May. In southern Michigan, larvae may be multivotine, or two different populations (Figure 1). Ed Kormondy also collected two size classes of larvae on 15 September 1953 from South Lake in Washtenaw Co. (UMMZ Insect Collection), clearly indicating two size classes: one specimen appeared ready to "pop", (enlarged thorax, wing pads enlarged), another very small specimen that was clearly immature.
Other links with information on the biology or
ecology of larval Erythemis:
Introduced Erythemis plebeja into Florida and Texas >> http://aquat1.ifas.ufl.edu/mcinsec.html
Ottawa Area (Canada) Erythemis >>http://www.ncf.carleton.ca/~bf250/odonata.html
Hagen, H. A. 1861. Synopsis of the Neuroptera of North America, with a list of the South American species. Smithsonian Miscellaneous Collections 4:1-347.
Say, T. 1839. Descriptions of new North American neuropterous insects and observations on some already described by (the late) Th. Say. Journal of the Academy of Natural Science of Philadelphia 8:9-46.