Ebony Jewelwing

The ebony jewelwing is a broad-winged damselfly that is also known by the name black-winged damselfly. It can be seen all year round in some places. In others, the flight season is March to October in the south and July or August in the north of its range.

Scientific Classification

  • Class:Insecta
  • Order:Odonata
  • Suborder:Zygoptera
  • Family:Calopterygidae
  • Genus:Calopteryx
  • Species:C. maculata

Conservation Status

Not EvaluatedNE

Not Evaluated

Data DeficientDD

Data Deficient

Least ConcernLC

Least Concern

Near ThreatenedNT

Near Threatened





Critically EndangeredCR

Critically Endangered

Extinct in the wildEW

Extinct in the wild




Calopteryx maculata

The size of the ebony jewelwing is 1.5-2.2 in (39-57 mm). The males have metallic blue-green bodies with black wings. The females are duller and brown with smoky wings that have white spots near the tips.

Distribution: Eastern United States, and southeastern Canada, west of the Great Plains.

Ebony Jewelwing Habitat

Habitat: Near wooded rivers and streams. But can move far away from water.    

Do They Bite/Sting: No.

Lifespan: 15-17 days on average.

Black-winged Damselfly

Predators: Birds like the American robin, great crested flycatcher, red-winged blackbird, mallard, and blue jay; reptiles and amphibians such as the common snapping turtle, eastern painted turtle, and southern leopard frog; fish like the largemouth bass, bluegill, creek chub, yellow perch, channel catfish, northern hogsucker, and common carp; insects such as the large diving beetle, green darner, common water strider, and eastern dobsonfly; and mammals like the big brown bat.

Behavior and Characteristics


Ebony Jewelwing Dragonfly

They eat giant willow aphids, tiger mosquitoes, fungus gnats, large diving beetles, crane flies, eastern dobsonflies, green darners, water fleas, freshwater triclads, aquatic oligochaetes, copepods, caddisflies, six-spotted tiger beetles, rotifers, amphipods, dogwood borers, and green hydra.

Life Cycle

1. Egg Stage

The females lay cylindrical eggs on the soft stems of aquatic plants.

2. Naiad Stage

The naiads are pale brown with darker marks on their bodies. They prey on small aquatic insects. When fully developed, they crawl out of water and molt.

3. Adult Stage

The adults mate in summer when the male clasps the female behind her head with his abdomen or tail.


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