Nehalennia Selys, 1850 (Coenagrionidae) -Sprites

Notes -Michigan SpeciesList - Key -References
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Page last updated: 11August 1998

Notes on theMichigan Species of Nehalennia

Two species of this genus of small, slenderdamselflies have been recorded in Michigan (see maps below). Larvaeare usually found in the aquatic vegetation of the still waters ofmarshes, fens and sphagnum bogs. Walker's (1953) treatment for the two species remains a veryrecommended work. Larvae of N.irene are found among the macrophytes,sedges, cat-tails and other emergent vegetation in a wide assortmentof aquatic habitats, including still areas of streams and rivers,sloughs and ponds, and sometimes bogs. I. gracilis, on the otherhand, appears to be restricted to sphagnum bog habitats, with larvaefound near and alongside the margins of floating bog mats. Bothspecies may be locally abundant in their particular habitat. Adultsemerge from mid-May through July.

Other links with information on the biology orecology of larval Nehalennia:
Briefhabitats notes from the Houston, Texas, USA area >>
Ottawa,Ontario survey, with brief habitat notes >>

Michigan SpeciesList

Map 1Map 2
Maps 1-2: County distribution of the Michigan species of
Click on map for a largerimage

Nehalennia gracilis Morse,1895 - Sphagnum Sprite
Nehalennia irene
(Hagen, 1861) - Sedge Sprite

Key toMature Larvae of Michigan Nehalennia
Walker1953 and Westfall and May1996)

1a. Caudalgills with numerous small marginal spots (picture); posterolateralsurface of head with about a dozen short spines, which are darker atbase (picture) - N.irene

1b. Caudalgills unspotted or nearly so (picture); posterolateral surface with4-6 small colorless spines - N.gracilis

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Hagen, H. A. 1861.Synopsis of the neuroptera of North America, with a list of the SouthAmerican species. SmithsoniaMiscellaneous Collections 4:1-347.

Morse, A. P. 1895. NewNorth American Odonata. Psyche 7:207-211.

Selys-Longchamps, 1850. Revue des odonates ou Libellules d'Europe. Mémoiresde Société de Science de Liege 6:1-408 (reprint1-408).

Walker, E. M. 1953.The Odonata of Canada and Alaska, Vol. 1. University of TorontoPress: Toronto, Ontario. 292 pp.

Westfall, M.J., Jr. and M. L. May. 1996. Damselflies of North America. ScientificPublishers: Gainesville, Florida. x + 650 pp.

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