Minnesota Dragonfly

Brush-tipped Emerald

Somatochlora walshii

Northern black and metallic green striped emerald. Males are noticeably shorter, with the abdomen about equal in length to a single wing. Females are longer than males, about the same length as many other emerald species


Field Marks
  • Average adult size is approximately 1.9 inches
  • Face is black in the front and brown on the sides
  • Metallic green eyes
  • Thorax is brown and metallic green with two unequal yellow spots on the side
  • Front spot is long and thin, more of a line. Rear spot is shorter and more of an oval.
  • Black legs
  • Abdomen black with complete pale ring on segment 2
  • Small yellow side spots at joints of segment 5 to 7
  • Tip of abdomen is bunt and hairy, partially obscuring the cerci which point downward and are wider at the end

Click on photos above for a close-up view.

Field Marks
  • Females are colored similar to males
  • Females abdominal spots are larger than the males
  • Scoop shaped subgenital plate hangs diagonally from abdomen and is longer than abdominal segment 9
  • Females have longer abdomens than males making them look larger than their male counterparts

Click on photos above for a close-up view.

Natural History


Males patrol a territory, flying typically below waist level. They can often be recognized by their arched abdomen. Females are most often found flying high above open spots in the forest including forest roads.


Slow clear streams flowing through bogs, fens, marshes and meadows, sometimes on the edge of coniferous woodlands


Males look for females to mate with while they patrol their territory. Females lay eggs alone by dipping their abdomen into the water around vegetation in slow moving waterways

Range Maps

Click on the icons above for this species' range maps

Click here for county and state checklists from Odonata Central.

Range maps and checklists courtesy of Odonata Central. Copyright © 2016 OdonataCentral. All Rights Reserved. Abbott, J.C. 2006-2018. OdonataCentral: An online resource for the distribution and identification of Odonata. Available at www.odonatacentral.org.