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Ebony jewelwing

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Ebony jewelwing
Ebony jeweling.jpg
Scientific Classification
Binomial Name

Calopteryx maculata

Ebony jewel wing color.jpg

The Ebony jewel wing is a very beautifully colored species of damselfly known by the scientific name Calopteryx maculata. While it looks like a dragonfly, they differ in some ways, such as their wings. A dragonfly's wings go straight out of their body and are more of a clear color. On a Ebony jewelwing, their wings go more towards the back and not straight out. Also the jewel wing has dark black wings. The jewel wing can get up to two inches in length throughout their whole life. Other ways you can tell a male to female apart are that females, on the back of there wings, have a white dot on the wing. The Ebony jewel wing doesn't live a carefree life. They have to be careful of predators. These consist of birds, bats, and even its look-alike twin the dragon fly. Since the jewel wings lays their eggs in water they also have to be careful of not being eaten by deadly predators. These predators can be fish, turtles, or other aquatic insects. [1]


The anatomy of an Ebony jewel wing is much similar to a Damsel fly or a Dragon fly. The jewel Wing consists of a head and a thorax located right behind it. On the lower part of the jewel wing on the legs, going up to down they have: the femur, tibia, tarsi, and the claw. The abdomen of an Ebony jewel wing consists of ten segments going through the back of the jewel wing.[2]


During summer the Ebony jewel wing has its mating time. This is done by the male jewel wing, he coming up from behind the female, and grasping the female by the head using the males tail which is located in the abdomen. Once the female jewel wing is done with her mating, she finishes by laying her eggs in small water plants. When the jewel wing egg's hatch, they become larva, which in other words is a naiad. While the jewel wing is in its naiad stage it feeds on tiny water insects. Once the naiad is completely developed, it comes out of the water from where it is hatched and molts [3]


U.S. Distribution
Unlike its fellow insects, like the Dragon fly, this mainly can be found by some open ponds or rivers, the Ebony Jewelwing likes being in the woods. Though both of the species live near bodies of water. The jewel wing can get scared easily. Though when it does get scared it doesn't fly very far for cover. When the Ebony jewel wing gets tired from flying, it can be seen resting on leaves or pieces of fallen twigs.[4]

For property, male jewel wings fight over who has what. Even though they aren't the best of flyers, the jewel wings still go on. The female jewel wings don't like being trespassed on by other males. [5]


The Ebony jewel wing has a very unique color to it. The male jewel wing has a bright turquoise color. This is very common for the male to have the brighter color of the two sexes. For example, the duck. Male ducks are bright colors of usually green. Though the females have a brownish color to them. This is the same as with the Peacock. When the male spreads its wing it bright colors are amazing. Females have a brownish color to them. This goes with the female Ebony jewel wing as well. Not quite sure why males have the brighter color of the two. Maybe it is for mating purposes or along the lines of that. The wings of the jewel wing are all black for both male and female.[6]


  • Ebony Jewelwing: Calopteryx maculata by Stephen R. Mirick, Study of Northern Virginia Ecology, Fairfax County Public Schools. Accessed December 8, 2010.
  • [Calopteryx maculata] by Stephen Cresswell, DRAGONFLIES AND DAMSELFLIES OF WEST VIRGINIA SPECIES PAGE ,Accessed December 9, 2010.
photographed by Robert Thompson,MAGNI, 2000  , Accessed December 9, 2010.