Minnesota Dragonfly

Ocellated Emerald

Somatochlora minor

The Ocellated Emerald is a small Somatochlora, striped Emerald, with two approximately equal sized yellow dots on the thorax. They prefer sunny streams with a lot of oxygen to the bog habitats preferred by many of the other species of Somatochlora


Field Marks
  • Average adult size is approximately from 1.7 to 1.9 inches
  • Dark metallic green face and frons with mustard yellow sides
  • Metallic emerald eyes
  • Thorax is brown and metallic green with two approximately equal sized yellow spots on the side
  • Yellow spot on abdominal segment 2, yellow ring between segment 2 and 3 and yellow patches on segment 3
  • Dark, fuzzy abdomen, that is widest at the junction of segment 5 and 6, and faint rings separating segments 8 to 10
  • Dark terminal appendages with two tiny spikes on the outside edges of the cerci
  • Cerci slope downward and angle inward coming together at the tips

Click on photos above for a close-up view.

Field Marks
  • Female is colored similarly to the male
  • Abdomen is not as wide as the males
  • Subgenital plates are large and scoop shaped, triangular from a side view, and hang down perpendicularly at almost a right angle
  • Cerci are long, longer than segments 9 and 10 combined

Click on photos above for a close-up view.

Natural History


Males patrol a large territory, flying up and down the stream or hovering above for an extended period of time. Foraging usually happens at around head height in sunny clearings and forest or roadside edges. When not in flight they usually perch on grass, tree trunks or other vegetation near the water


Clear, clean sunny streams that are high in Oxygen and very low in pollution


Females lay eggs by tapping the water with their abdomen or by tapping wet mud or moss on the stream bank, slightly above the waterline

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.