E-Fauna BC: Electronic Atlas of the Wildlife of British Columbia

Lestes congener
Spotted Spreadwing
Family: Lestidae
Species account author: Robert Cannings.
Extracted from Introducing the Dragonflies of British Columbia and the Yukon (2002)

Photo of species

© Werner Eigelsreiter  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #1359)

E-Fauna BC Static Map
Distribution of Lestes congener in British Columbia
Details about map content are available here.

Species Information


Thorax is dark brown or black with narrow pale stripes; the pale underside has several (usually three) dark spots on each side. Length: ♂ ♀ 40 mm.

Flight Period

B.C., early June to mid November (flight before early July is unusual).

Genus Description

Large damselflies, brown, black, metallic-green or bronze above, mostly pale below. As they age, parts of the body, including the tip of the abdomen in males, often become pruinose bluish white. Females lay eggs in tandem with males, usually in plants above the surface of the water. The larvae are long and slender with banded gills and an unusually elongated labium. Some species are adapted to temporary ponds; the eggs overwinter and the larvae grow rapidly after the basin fills with water in the winter or spring.


Family Description

A small but widely distributed family in B.C., containing only one genus here, Lestes, with five species. The common name comes from the characteristic posture of the adults - they usually perch with wings half-spread.
Field Notes

Common in many types of wetlands, from alkaline ponds to cattail marshes, lake and peatlands. In B.C., it emerges later than any other spreadwings and is the last damselfly seen in autumn.


Widespread. And widespread in B.C., especially in the south.

Status Information

Origin StatusProvincial StatusBC List
(Red Blue List)
NativeS5YellowNot Listed
BC Ministry of Environment: BC Species and Ecosystems Explorer--the authoritative source for conservation information in British Columbia.

Additional Photo Sources

General References

Recommended citation: Author, Date. Page title. In Klinkenberg, Brian. (Editor) 2021. E-Fauna BC: Electronic Atlas of the Fauna of British Columbia [efauna.bc.ca]. Lab for Advanced Spatial Analysis, Department of Geography, University of British Columbia, Vancouver. [Accessed: 2024-05-24 7:28:35 AM]
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© E-Fauna BC 2021: An initiative of the Spatial Data Lab, Department of Geography, UBC