Minnesota Dragonfly

Lake Emerald

Somatochlora cingulata

The Lake Emerald is a large, dark Emerald with white rings separating each segment of its abdomen. They are usually found flying rapidly over large boreal lakes in the Northeastern United States and Canada


Field Marks
  • Average adult size is approximately from 2.3 to 2.6 inches
  • Black face with dark metallic green tinge and yellow on the sides
  • Metallic green eyes
  • Brown and metallic green unmarked thorax
  • Dark brown abdomen with white rings separating the segments 2 through 9
  • Small tan side spots next to the rings on abdominal segments 4 through 8
  • Cerci come together and curl up ending in a fine point
  • Epiproct is wide from base to tip
  • Terminal appendages are mostly dark and covered with hairs

Click on photos above for a close-up view.

Natural History


The Lake Emerald is a strong flier that flies extremely fast and rarely stops to hover. Because of their size and the speed at which they fly they often appear more like a Cruiser than an Emerald They spend most of their time hunting over the open waters, rarely flying close to the shoreline except when mating.


Lakes, boggy lakes and large slow moving rivers


Mating typically takes place in the woods. Females lay eggs alone by flying in wide circles, often near an outlet, and dipping there abdomen every few feet

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.