Somatochlora brevicincta

Geographic Range

Quebec emeralds are found from Southern Canada to the northern tip of Maine and Minnesota. ("Somatochlora brevicincta (Quebec Emerald)", 2005; Abbott, 2006; Brunelle, et al., 2006; Brunelle, 1999)


Somatochlora brevicinta prefer pools in sphagnum bogs and mossy fens, especially patterned ones with shallow pool dominated by short sedges. ("Somatochlora brevicincta (Quebec Emerald)", 2005; Abbott, 2006; Brunelle, et al., 2006)

  • Aquatic Biomes
  • lakes and ponds

Physical Description

The thorax of adult Somatocholora brevicincta is metallic green with one lateral light stripe and ends into a point. The dorsal abdomen is black. The eyes of the Quebec emerald are metallic brown with bright green. ("Somatochlora brevicincta (Quebec Emerald)", 2005; Brunelle, et al., 2006)

The adult males and adult female Somatocholora brevicincta vary little in size. Female Somatocholora brevicincta have reddish hairs on the hind margin of its head, while males do not. ("Somatochlora brevicincta (Quebec Emerald)", 2005; Brunelle, et al., 2006)

The Aquatic larvae of Somatocholora brevicincta have triangular heads with the antenna being composed of seven articles. The head, thorax, and abdomen of the Quebec emerald larvae are covered in hair varying in length with segment 6-9 of the abdomen having the longest. The epiproct of the aquatic larvae have a triangular form and are slightly larger then the crecus. The hind legs of the aquatic larvae are longer then both the mid legs and fore legs. (Hutchinson and Menard, 2000)

Adult Somatocholaro brevicincta look similar to adult Somatocholaro albicincta but lack rings on abdomen. In addition, adult male Somatocholaro brevicincta hamule are curved and not bent like adult male Somatocholaro albicincta. Adult female Somatocholaro brevicincta differ from female Somatocholaro albicincta in the female subgenital plate is as long as the abdominal segment 9 and is not notched. (Brunelle, et al., 2006)

  • Sexual Dimorphism
  • sexes colored or patterned differently
  • Range length
    45 to 50 mm
    1.77 to 1.97 in
  • Average length
    48 mm
    1.89 in
  • Range wingspan
    29 to 31 mm
    1.14 to 1.22 in



Somatocholora brevicincta mating system remains largely unknown. Female Somatocholora brevicincta lay eggs on outside of plant tissues in the moss or adjacent water surface. Somatocholora brevicincta larvae are likely to live within the moss then in open water. (Brunelle, et al., 2006)

The specific details on Somatochlora brevicincta season of breeding, age at sexual maturity, and number of offspring per breeding season remain unknown.

The amount of parental investment of Somatocholora brevicincta remains unknown.


Little is known about the lifespan of each stages of development in Somatocholora brevicincta. The average lifespan of Somatocholora brevicincta has been found to be around 2 years. (Brunelle, et al., 2006)

  • Average lifespan
    Status: captivity
    2 years


Little is known of the home range of Somatochlora brevicinta. Somatocholora brevicinta is a seasonal migrator that typically migrates over 200 km. The flight season for Somatocholora brevicinta is mid July to early September. The Larvae of Somatocholora brevicinta must overwinter. (Brunelle, et al., 2006)

Communication and Perception

Communication and Perception of Somatocholora brevicincta remains unknown.

Food Habits

Quebec emeralds are predators, both in their aquatic larval stage (nymphs) and adults. The nymphs of Somatocholora brevicincta diet consists of other insect larvae, but also can feed on tadpoles and small fish. Adult Somatocholora brevicincta eat a variety of insects such as mosquitoes, midges, and smaller dragonflies.

  • Animal Foods
  • amphibians
  • fish
  • insects
  • aquatic or marine worms


The identity of known predators of the Quebec emerald remain unknown.

Conservation Status

A threat to Somatochlora brevicincta is habitat degradation caused from harvesting of peatmoss and fuel peat, draining fen habitats, logging, and agriculture development. ("Somatochlora brevicincta (Quebec Emerald)", 2005; Brunelle, et al., 2006)


jacob pithan (author), Minnesota State University Mankato, Robert Sorensen (editor), Minnesota State University, Mankato.



living in the Nearctic biogeographic province, the northern part of the New World. This includes Greenland, the Canadian Arctic islands, and all of the North American as far south as the highlands of central Mexico.

World Map

bilateral symmetry

having body symmetry such that the animal can be divided in one plane into two mirror-image halves. Animals with bilateral symmetry have dorsal and ventral sides, as well as anterior and posterior ends. Synapomorphy of the Bilateria.


a wetland area rich in accumulated plant material and with acidic soils surrounding a body of open water. Bogs have a flora dominated by sedges, heaths, and sphagnum.


an animal that mainly eats meat


animals which must use heat acquired from the environment and behavioral adaptations to regulate body temperature

external fertilization

fertilization takes place outside the female's body


union of egg and spermatozoan


mainly lives in water that is not salty.


the state that some animals enter during winter in which normal physiological processes are significantly reduced, thus lowering the animal's energy requirements. The act or condition of passing winter in a torpid or resting state, typically involving the abandonment of homoiothermy in mammals.


An animal that eats mainly insects or spiders.


A large change in the shape or structure of an animal that happens as the animal grows. In insects, "incomplete metamorphosis" is when young animals are similar to adults and change gradually into the adult form, and "complete metamorphosis" is when there is a profound change between larval and adult forms. Butterflies have complete metamorphosis, grasshoppers have incomplete metamorphosis.


makes seasonal movements between breeding and wintering grounds


having the capacity to move from one place to another.

native range

the area in which the animal is naturally found, the region in which it is endemic.


generally wanders from place to place, usually within a well-defined range.


reproduction in which eggs are released by the female; development of offspring occurs outside the mother's body.


the kind of polygamy in which a female pairs with several males, each of which also pairs with several different females.

seasonal breeding

breeding is confined to a particular season


reproduction that includes combining the genetic contribution of two individuals, a male and a female


mature spermatozoa are stored by females following copulation. Male sperm storage also occurs, as sperm are retained in the male epididymes (in mammals) for a period that can, in some cases, extend over several weeks or more, but here we use the term to refer only to sperm storage by females.


a wetland area that may be permanently or intermittently covered in water, often dominated by woody vegetation.


Living on the ground.


2007. "Quebec Emerald (Somatochlora brevicincta)" (On-line). Accessed September 28, 2017 at

2005. "Somatochlora brevicincta (Quebec Emerald)" (On-line). Royal Bc Museum. Accessed October 04, 2017 at

Abbott, J. 2006. "Somatochlora brevicincta" (On-line). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Accessed September 27, 2017 at

Brunelle, P., M. Morrison, N. Capuano, S. Dunkle. 2006. "Somarochlora brevicincta" (On-line). NatureServe EXPLORER. Accessed September 28, 2017 at

Brunelle, P. 1999. Distribution of damselflies and dragonflies (Odonata) of Maine, United States. Northeastern Naturalist, 6: 95. Accessed September 28, 2017 at

Hutchinson, R., B. Menard. 2000. The larva of Somatochlora brevicincta Robert (Anisoptera: Corduliidae). Fabreries, 25/4: 53-68.