Aquatic Insects of Michigan

by Ethan Bright, Museum of Zoology Insect Division and School of Natural Resources and Environment
University of Michigan

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Ladona Hagen, 1861 (Libellulidae) (Corporals) of Michigan - Identification

Of the three species found in North America, only Ladona julia reaches our area and is widespread in Michigan. More prevalent in the north, this species reaches its southern distribution in the southern portion of our state and northern Ohio.

Adults are medium-sized dragonflies, brownish of body, a pale face (darkens with age), and wings hyaline except for brown basal spots. Females, and immature males, have two whitish stripes on the thorax. Adults often land and perch on the ground. Nymphs are distinguished from other species of Libellula by the curved, crenated premental front margin that have small setae within the notches, and from Plathemis by the the small number (3) of premental dorsal setae (9 in Plathemis lydia), the presence of mid-dorsal spines on abdomenal segments 7 and 8 (absent in Plathemis julia), and the absence of a dark, longitudinal abdominal stripe (present in Plathmis julia).

The taxonomic placement of Plathemis with regards to Libellula and Ladona (and other closely related taxa) is discussed on the page for Libellula.

Based on body size data from collected nymphs, life cycle of Ladona julia in Michigan is probably univoltime.

Taxonomic references: Needham et al. 2010, Paulson 2011, Walker and Corbet 1975



Bick GH. 1950. The dragonflies of Mississippi (Odonata: Anisoptera). American Midland Naturalist 43:66-78.
Craves JA, O'Brien D. 2011. Tramea calverti (Odonata: Libellulidae): New for Michigan with notes on other new reports for the Great Lakes Region. The Great Lakes Entomologist 44(1-2):78-82.
Musser RJ. 1962. Dragonfly nymphs of Utah (Odonata: Anisoptera). University of Utah Biological Series 12(6):1-66.
Needham JG, Westfall MJ, May ML. 2010. Dragonflies of North America, Third Edition. Scientific Publishers, Gainesville, Florida, USA. xiv + 657 p.
Paulson D. 2011. Dragonflies and damselflies of the East. Princeton Field Guides. Princeton University Press, Pinceton, New Jersey, USA. 538 p.
Walker EM, Corbet JS. 1975. The Odonata of Canada and Alaska, Vol. 3. University of Toronto Press: Toronto, Ontario. xvi + 308.
Drury, D. 1773. Illustrations of natural history. Vol. 2. White: London. 90 pp.
Hagen, H. A. 1861. Synopsis of the Neuroptera of North America, with a list of the South American species. Smithsonian Miscellaneous Collections 4 (1862). 347 pp.
Levine, J. R. 1957. Anatomy and taxonomy of the mature naiads of the dragonfly genus Plathemis (Family Libellulidae). Smithsonian Miscellaneous Collections 134(11):1-28.
Wissinger, S.A., 1988. Spatial distribution, life history and estimates of survivorship in a fourteen- species assemblage of larval dragonflies. Freshwater Biology 20: 329-340.

Page created: July 17, 1998 - Last updated: February 17, 2017 (EB)