The Robust Spreadwing is a fairly large, heavy-looking and stockily-built damselfly. Like all members of the genus Lestes, it holds its wings spread out when at rest, typically at an angle of about 45 degrees. While Lestes dryas is found throughout Europe, it tends to occur in low numbers. Its preferred habitat consists of shallow ponds and lakes which dry out in the course of the summer, a preference it shares with its congener Lestes barbarus. Our top site for this species to date is the Lago della Rotonda in the South of Italy, where it occurs in very large numbers. The species' most distinctive features include its stubby, thick-set metallic-green (or brown) abdomen, the light-blue pruinescence which covers S9, S10, S1 and almost all of S2 on the male's abdomen, the male's inwardly-curved lower appendages, the female's ovipositor which extends beyond S10, and the black pterostigma bordered laterally by a fine white line.
For an overview of the Robust Spreadwing's distribution in Europe, hover your mouse pointer over the map symbol .
With the authors' permission we have based this map on data published in Kalkman et al. (2010).
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