Of the three species found in North America, only Ladona julia reaches our area and is widespread in Michigan (Map 1). More prevalent in the north, this species reaches its southern distribution in the southern portion of our state and northern Ohio.
Larvae are benthic sprawlers found within fine, loose organic matter near or among aquatic vegetation of bog ponds and swampy bays, sometimes also in slow sections of streams or their outlets into ponds or lakes . Larvae are found in waters of varying acidity. I (EB) have collected larvae from such substrates in waters that were slightly alkaline (pH 7-8) from a lake in Washtenaw Co., in s. LP, and from a pond that was slightly acid (< 7) in the Huron Mountains, Marquette Co., UP. Walker and Corbet (1975) note this species as prolific in acidic waters of the Canadian Shield. Two greatly different size classes were collected by Ed Kormondy on 23 August 1953 from Mud Lake in Presque Isle Co., perhaps suggesting two different breeding populations or a semi-voltine emergence pattern for this species in Michigan. Larval emergence is generally through June. Larvae may emerge locally in large numbers - hundreds of adult males were seen seen by Mike Kielb, Mark O'Brien and myself near Ives Lake in the Huron Mountains in Marquette Co. on 25 June 1996.
Closely related to Libellula and Plathemis, some authorities have retained Ladona within Libellula (see Libellula page). Larvae of L. julia are distinctive from other Libellula larvae by the curved, crenated premental front margin with small setae within crenation notches (Fig. 1), and from both Libellula and Plathemis by the small number (3) of premental setae.
Other links with information on the biology or
ecology of larval Ladona:
Brief habitat notes on Ottawa, Ontario, Canada Libellula >>http://www.ncf.carleton.ca/~bf250/odonata.html
Needham, J. G. 1897. Libellula deplanta of Rambur. Canadian Entomologist 29:144-146.
Uhler, P. R. 1857. Contributions to the Neuropterology of the United States. Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia 1857:87-88.
Walker, E. M., and J. S. Corbet. 1975. The Odonata of Canada and Alaska, Vol. 3. University of Toronto Press: Toronto, Ontario. xvi + 308.