Hine's emerald dragonfly

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Hine's emerald dragonfly
Somatochlora hineana.jpg
Scientific classification
S. hineana
Binomial name
Somatochlora hineana
Williamson, 1931
Current Range [2]

The Hine's emerald dragonfly (Somatochlora hineana) is a dragonfly in the family Corduliidae.


Globally, the species is extremely rare. The largest breeding population known is in Door County, Wisconsin. The only other known populations occur at small sites in northern Michigan, northeastern, the Des Plains River Valley, Illinois, and recently discovered sites in Missouri and south-central Ontario. In particular, Michigan's known sites of Hine's emerald dragonfly are in Mackinac, Alpena, and Presque Isle counties. The dragonflies may be found in other places that have soils that are rich in lime or other minerals and also in discrete fen and wet meadow habitats.[3]

One site where the species is present in good numbers is The Ridges Sanctuary in Baileys Harbor, Wisconsin.


This particular dragonfly's body is on average 2.5 inches long. Meanwhile, the wingspan is about 3.3 inches wide. The insect is noticeable with a metallic green body and bright green eyes. Often, there are yellow stripes down the sides of this dragonfly's body.[4]


Male Hine's emerald dragonflies will take over a territory seven to ten days after emerging from nymph stage in the water and mate with the females who enter their area of water.[5] When pregnant, the female will proceed to deposit the eggs into the water by repeatedly sticking her butt into the water around 200 times to place the eggs nearly 500 eggs under the water.[6] The eggs will hatch later in the year or in the spring following when they were placed into the water by the female dragonfly. For two to four years, the immature dragonfly, or nymph, will live in the water until maturity. After shedding its skin many times, the nymph will emerge from the water to shed once again before flying off to live for four to six weeks.[7]

Conservation status[edit]

Since the Hine's emerald dragonfly is listed as a federally endangered species, many studies have been conducted to attempt to count the amount of dragonflies left in the natural environment. It has been found that many of these populations live in small groups and are therefore simple to wipe out with a single instance of heavy pollution from human influences. Many instances of displacing Hine's emerald dragonfly include humans using their lands for industrial and urban purposes.[citation needed]

Hine's emerald is listed on the United States Federal List of Endangered Species, the only species of Odonata so listed. It was listed on the Endangered Species list because of habitat destruction.[citation needed]

Who to contact[edit]

If any person thinks they have spotted a Hine's emerald dragonfly, the proper steps are to not touch or capture the insect but instead take a picture. Then, contact someone with a U.S. Fish and Wildlife permit for the state the dragonfly is located in.

Roadside pollution[edit]

Roadside pollution is one of the most distinct reasons as to why the Hine's emerald dragonfly has been going extinct since 1995.[8] Golf courses are also one of the polluting factors to the curb in the population of these particular dragonfly.[citation needed]

Changes in water flow[edit]

With changes of water flow, the Hine's dragonfly is extremely susceptible to changes in the water content. With decreases in water flow or pollution in water flow, the Hine's dragonfly decreases in population. This is because the dragonfly depends on the clean flowing water to survive and breed its offspring. Recently, pesticides and other pollutants entering the water flow have been large factors in shallow streams of water in wiping out the localized populations of Hine's dragonflies.[9]


Dragonflies guard the Earth's waterways by eating other insects above the water such as gnats, mosquitoes, and biting flies. In the nymph stage, the dragonfly is a great food source for fish and other larger water animals.[citation needed]


The Hine's emerald dragonfly was discovered in Ohio, Indiana, and Alabama. The dragonfly cannot be found in those states any longer because of shifts in population change through pollution. The insect was first categorized as endangered in the mid-1900s. On January 26, 1995, the Hine's dragonfly was listed on the U.S. List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants list. From that day forward, it was illegal to harm, kill, or collect the Hine's emerald dragonfly without permission from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The Hine's emerald dragonfly is the only dragonfly species on the endangered species list.

The Center for Biological Diversity in 2004 filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to gain habitat designation for the Hine's emerald dragonfly. The Center won the case two years later, but struggled when later the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service took away over half the land allocated for the Hine's emerald dragonfly by the year 2007. In 2009, the Center for Biological Diversity sued the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service again over not including critical habitat land in Michigan and Missouri for the Hine's emerald dragonfly. The Center won the case in 2010.[10]


  1. ^ Abbott, J.C. & Cashatt, E. 2018. Somatochlora hineana. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2018: e.T20342A65818147. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2018-1.RLTS.T20342A65818147.en. Downloaded on 29 December 2018.
  2. ^ The Hine's Emerald Dragonfly: Rare Gem of Wetland and Meadow. USFWS. 2002.
  3. ^ O'Brien, Mark (May 2001). "Hine's Emerald Dragonfly" (PDF). Michigan Odonata Survey. No. 3: 2 – via University of Michigan.
  4. ^ Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife. "USFWS: Hine's Emerald Dragonfly Fact Sheet". www.fws.gov. Retrieved 2017-09-22.
  5. ^ "Hines Emerald Dragonfly | The Nature Conservancy". www.nature.org. Retrieved 2017-09-23.
  6. ^ "Hines Emerald Dragonfly | The Nature Conservancy". www.nature.org. Retrieved 2017-09-23.
  7. ^ Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife. "USFWS: Hine's Emerald Dragonfly Fact Sheet". www.fws.gov. Retrieved 2017-09-23.
  8. ^ Monroe, Emy M.; Britten, Hugh B. (2014-06-01). "Conservation in Hine's sight: the conservation genetics of the federally endangered Hine's emerald dragonfly, Somatochlora hineana". Journal of Insect Conservation. 18 (3): 353–363. doi:10.1007/s10841-014-9643-7. ISSN 1366-638X.
  9. ^ Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife. "USFWS: Hine's Emerald Dragonfly Fact Sheet". www.fws.gov. Retrieved 2017-09-22.
  10. ^ "Hine's emerald dragonfly". www.biologicaldiversity.org. Retrieved 2017-09-23.

External links[edit]