DragonflyPix

Alpski lesketnik (Somatochlora alpestris)

• Scientific name: Somatochlora alpestris (Selys, 1840)
• English name: Alpine Emerald
• German name: Alpen-Smaragdlibelle
• French name: Cordulie alpestre
• Dutch name: Taigaglanslibel
• Swedish name: Fjälltrollslända
• Norwegian name: Fjell-metalløyenstikker
• Finnish name: Aapakiiltokorento
• Danish name: N/A
• Italian name: Smeralda alpina
• Czech name: lesklice horská
• Slovenian name: Alpski lesketnik
• Bulgarian name: N/A
• Typical length: 45-50 mm
• Hindwing: 30-34 mm

Alpski lesketnik (Somatochlora alpestris)

Distribution map

Map data based on J.-P. Boudot & V. J. Kalkman (eds.),
Atlas of the European Dragonflies and Damselflies

The Alpine Emerald has a so-called boreo-alpine distribution, i.e. it occurs at high latitudes in Northern Europe and at high altitudes in Central Europe. In that sense it is similar to its stablemate, the Northern Emerald (Somatochlora arctica). Also similar is its colouration, with bright green eyes, a dark green thorax and an almost black-looking abdomen. But the one feature which allows the two species to be easily told apart in the field is the ring at the top of abdominal segment 3; in Somatochlora alpestris that ring is bright white (as opposed to yellowish) and it therefore contrasts sharply with its near-black background. [Incidentally, the animals we have seen and photographed to date all carried two such rings, at either end of S3, but the lower of the two rings tended to be less strikingly white.] Other differences include the shape of the female's abdomen (long and slender in S. arctica, as opposed to short, round and thickset in S. alpestris) and the shape of the male's appendages: rounded and pincer-shaped in arctica; angular in alpestris. Our first and - to date - only site for the species is a huge, mosquito- and horsefly-infested swamp in the far North of Finland.

Line DrawingLineDrawing: the male's appendages in dorsal view.

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