Cedar Creek
Ecosystem Science Reserve

Insects of Cedar Creek



Family Tree

     Nearly 425 species of Dragonflies and Damselflies have been described for North America.  Two Suborders are recognized: the Anisoptera (Dragonflies) and Zygoptera (Damselflies). Minnesota families of Anisoptera (Cordulegasteridae, Gomphidae, Aeshnidae, Macromiidae, Corduliidae, Libellulidae) are robust-bodied and rest with outstretched wings. The Zygoptera (Lestidae, Coenagrionidae, Calopterygidae) are more fragile and rest with wings folded atop the abdomen. 123 species are reported for Minnesota, but it is likely that with thorough collecting this total may reach 150.  The Zygoptera of the state are particularly in need of attention.  Useful references include: The Dragonflies of North America (Needham and Westfall, 1958), The Odonata of Canada and Alaska (3 vols. Walker 1956, 1958 and Walker and Corbet, 1975).  Minnesota works include a series of articles in the Journal of the Minn. Academy of Science (Hamrum et.al. 1965-72), and a Survey of the Dragonflies of selected Minnesota Rivers (Haarstad, 1994; DNR misc. publication)
     The Odonata of CCESR have been well collected (Haarstad 1980).  More than 60 species representing 7 families have been taken.  Both larvae and adults are voracious predators. The aquatic larvae spend from a few months to 4 years before emerging as adults. Dragonfly larvae can move by jet propulsion, forcibly expelling water from their rectal chamber.  They catch prey with a peculiar hydrostatically operated protrusible labium on the underside of the head. This group will be considered by family.

Distribution Summary of North American Anisoptera by Bick and Mauffray
Distribution Summary of North American Zygoptera by Mauffray and Bechenbach
Michigan Odonata Survey incl Larval Keys by Ethan Bright
1. Family PETALURIDAE Graybacks (2 spp E and W mountains)
2. Family CORDULEGASTERIDAE Biddies (Not described at CCESR)
3. Family GOMPHIDAE Clubtails
4. Family AESHNIDAE Darners
5. Family MACROMIIDAE River Cruisers (Not described at CCESR)
6. Family CORDULIIDAE Green-eyed Skimmers
7. Family LIBELLULIDAE Pond Skimmers
8. Family CALOPTERYGIDAE Broad-winged Damsels
9. Family LESTIDAE Spread-winged Damsels
10. Family PROTONEURIDAE Tropical Damsels (2 spp Texas)
11. Family COENAGRIONIDAE Narrow-winged Damsels

webmaster@cedarcreek.umn.edu Last updated May, 2000