Minnesota Dragonfly

Ski-tipped Emerald

Somatochlora elongota

The Ski-tipped Emerald is one of the longest Somatochlora, striped Emeralds, in Minnesota. They have emerald green eyes, two yellow thoracic strips, and a long, slender abdomen that end in long sloping terminal appendages, which is where the Ski-tipped Emerald get its common name


Field Marks
  • Average adult size is approximately from 2.0 to 2.4 inches
  • Dark, metallic green face and frons with pale around the mouth
  • Metallic emerald eyes
  • Thorax brown and metallic green with 2 pale stripes
  • Pale spot on abdominal segment 2 and ring between segment 2 and 3
  • Dark legs
  • Dark abdomen, segments 4 to 10 are hairy and unmarked
  • Dark terminal appendages. Cerci are long and point upward at the tip

Click on photos above for a close-up view.

Field Marks
  • Female is colored similarly to the male
  • Females abdomen is less restricted at segments 3 and 4 than the male
  • Downward pointing subgenital plate is long and triangular shaped from the side, scoop shaped from behind
  • Cerci are long, equal to about the length of segments 9 and 10 combined

Click on photos above for a close-up view.

Natural History


Males patrol, typically flying low and slow, stopping often to hover. Occasionally found away from the breeding grounds


Slow-moving streams flowing through bogs and swamps, spring-fed and beaver ponds, lake inlets and outlets


Females lay eggs by dipping their abdomen into the water at intervals along the bank or shoreline

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.