The Broad-Winged Damsels
- This family is known
as the Broad-Winged Damsels because their wings are broader than other damselflies.
- In North America, this
family contains eight species in two genera. Only one species lives in Idaho.
- These are large damselflies
with stout abdomens and relatively large wings that have either black or red
markings. Bases of the wings are gradually narrowed. They are strong flyers,
with a characteristic buoyant dancing flight style.
- This is the only family
in our area in which the males exhibit courtship behavior and the females
exercise choice in mates. The males will hover and bounce in front of a female
until they are either accepted or rejected.
- The females lay eggs
(oviposit) in plant tissues without the male, often crawling down a plant
stem a foot beneath the water. In some species the male will hover over the
female to prevent other males to mate with her.
- The naiads of these
damselflies are usually found in streams and rivers. They cling to underwater
roots and vegetation and wait for the water current to bring them food.
- The naiads are long
and slender and very stiff-bodied. They are incapable of swimming with the
side-to-side undulations used by most other damselfly naiads.
These are very large damselflies
with iridescent green or blue coloration, depending on how the light hits them.
In most species the wing is marked with black or smoky brown.
Written by Mark Lung and Stefan
Page design by Ean Harker ©2000.
Original images provided by Dennis Paulson,©2001.