Minnesota Dragonfly

Quebec Emerald

Somatochlora brevicincta

The Quebec Emerald is a rare but unremarkable Somatochlora, striped Emerald. Beyond the brown and metallic green thorax and emerald eyes that are typical for Somatochlora the only distinguishing features that the Quebec Emerald has is a pale spot on the side of the thorax and unique terminal appendages


Field Marks
  • Average adult size is approximately 1.9 inches
  • Mustard yellow face with dark metallic green frons
  • Metallic emerald eyes
  • Hairy, brown and metallic green thorax with a single pale stripe on the side
  • Black legs
  • Dark, fuzzy abdomen with complete rings between segments 2 to 4 and 8 to 10, segments in the middle have rings that are incomplete on the top of the abdomen
  • Dark terminal appendages, cerci angle down and point inwards, coming together to touch at the tips

Click on photos above for a close-up view.

Field Marks
  • Female is colored similarly to the male
  • Abdomen is less constricted at the base of the abdomen than the male
  • Terminal appendages longer than segments 9 and 10 combined
  • Subgenital plate is scoop shaped with an indentation running through the center. It is about as long as segment 9 and hangs parallel to the abdomen

Click on photos above for a close-up view.

Natural History


Males fly low and slowly over the fen. Occasionally they can be found away from the breeding grounds, sometimes joining with other emerald in feeding swarms. Because of their specific breeding habitat this species is very rare and difficult to find. There are a few known breeding locations in Northern Minnesota and there may be more that have not yet been discovered. This species has not been found yet in Wisconsin


Shallow pools located in patterned fens with slow moving sphagnum streams flowing through


Females lay eggs in small pools and flooded game trails running through the fen

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.