Of the nine species of this primarilyNeotropical genus (five north of Mexico), one widely distributedspecies - Erythemis simplicicollis- occurs in Michigan, most commonly inthe southern half of the Lower Peninsula (Map 1).
These small, stocky larvae are a commonresident of marshy, often eutrophic ponds and lakes and sometimesslow sections of streams. They are often collected from loose, fineorganic detritus in which they conceal themselves. Larvae are easilydistinguished from other Michigan libellulid nymphs by the decurvedcerci and paraprocts, their prominently striped green and brown eyes(this striping remains noticeable in specimens preserved in alcoholfor long periods of time), lack of mid-dorsal hooks and lateralspines on the abdomen, and long, spiny legs.
Emergence occurs usually from late-May throughJune. I have reared larvae collected from Half-Moon Lake inLivingston Co., southern Michigan, in mid-April that emerged asadults in late May. In southern Michigan, larvae may be multivotine,or two different populations (Figure 1). Ed Kormondy also collectedtwo size classes of larvae on 15 September 1953 from South Lake inWashtenaw Co. (UMMZ Insect Collection), clearly indicating two sizeclasses: one specimen appeared ready to "pop", (enlarged thorax, wingpads enlarged), another very small specimen that was clearlyimmature.
Other links with information on the biology orecology of larval
Hagen, H. A. 1861.Synopsis of the Neuroptera of North America, with a list of the SouthAmerican species. SmithsonianMiscellaneous Collections4:1-347.