Common Name: Great Spreadwing Dragonfly
Scientific Name: Archilestes grandis

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Odonata
Family: Lestidae
Genus: Archilestes
Species: A. grandis



The Great Spreadwing Dragonfly is a damselfly and a dragonfly. The damselfly is a smaller version of a dragonfly, but with wings above its head. The great spreadwing has both characteristics but is considered a dragonfly. It is called the Great Spreadwing Dragonfly because of its enormous wingspan. It is mostly located in West Virginia and has also expanded its range to North America to the north and south of it. It is also recognized by its bold stripe on the thorax. We would all like to know a little bit more about what they do to protect themselves, how they eat, how they adapt to their surroundings, and where habitat is.

Great Spreadwing Dragonfly’s have a lot of characteristics you wouldn’t even believe that they had! The general size of the great spreadwing is 2-2.4 inches (or 50-62 mm). Its thorax is brown, has a broad green stripe on each side, it also has (from the side) two broad yellow stripes. In the back of it, it has a dark blue abdomen with a white tip. The Great Spreadwing Dragonfly’s adaptations are the two strong transparent wings above its head that makes it easy to fly away from predators. They are also the fastest insects in the world.  They have very large multifaceted eyes which makes them able to see well than other bugs. The males and females have a different look from each other. The female’s abdomen is a little thicker and the male is not.

These insects move around a lot, but it depends on the temperature. This is why they are most active through April-December. They are found near most slow, small streams and anywhere where it is wet like a temporary pool or a pond. Currently there is no estimate of number of population. In America these animals are definitely Secure, but in Canada they are Apparently Secure. If we don’t do anything to make sure these insects are secure they could be extinct and no chance of them coming back.

When it comes to eating mosquitoes and other bugs that could be harmful, they will come in handy. They are also very good flyers (The fastest). What stands out is the color of the dragonfly; it would be the thing you notice first before anything. Also the long abdomen is very long in length. The Great Wing Dragonfly has to be the most interesting thing to know about.

Author: Joseph C.
Date Published: 02/17/12

Sources: Grandis


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