all photo this
page 21 Oct 2006 Lake San
|California Spreadwing is a late flyer. Adults
don't usually appear
until autumn. Manolis (2003) says the flight range is late June into
with a peak in September-October. In autumn 2006, it was considered by
some to be the 'most likely' species not then on the MTY checklist to
be present in numbers in the county, so serious efforts to locate the
were undertaken in Sep and early Oct 2006 without success. It was
by happenstance that a small breeding colony was discovered in late Oct
2006 along the shores of Lake San Antonio.
are large spreadwings — obviously larger than all the pond spreadwings
in genus Lestes — with lovely golden-tan pterostigmas, mahogany
brown abdomen with thin black-and-buff rings, and a broad white upper
stripe on the thorax that does not reach the hindwing. Sexes are
except that males (top photo) have bright blue eyes and whitish
on abdominal segments 9 and 10. This pair (right) was hanging in
no actual ovipositing was observed. The male paraprocts are bushy and
in parallel (below).
|The location of this colony (3 males and a female
were seen within
a very small area) was on the shore of Lake San Antonio at the Pleyto
Road arm. In October 2006 the water level was very high — in past
the water level has been much lower and the area these spreadwings were
frequenting would be a long, long ways from the lakeshore. As it was,
lake level was so high that it had submerged brush and short willows
what is usually a small creek next to Pleyto Cemetery Road. [The little
town of Pleyto was submerged by the creation of Lake San Antonio in
map shows the only known spot for California Spreadwing in MTY: along
shores of Lake San Antonio at the Pleyto Cemetery arm. Efforts to
it along the major rivers in MTY were unsuccessful, at least in fall
The only date so far is 21 Oct 2006.
Elsewhere in California it flies
late June into November, with peak breeding in Sep-Oct (2006).
- Manolis, T. 2003. Dragonflies and Damselflies of
California. Univ. of
Major identification web sites with much information on California
For sites with excellent photos to compare for identification or to
Many of these sites have links to other useful pages. Kathy Biggs's
is particularly useful in her selection of links.
All photos © Don Roberson 2007