The Hines Emerald Dragonfly represents an endangered species endemic to a specific region of the United States, in North America. Currently, this rare insect appears to only exist in Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, and Missouri. At one time they also inhabited Indiana, Alabama, and Ohio.
The greatest threat to their survival remains the destruction of their native habitat. Human expansion rapidly destroyed much of the regions the dragonfly once inhabited. Additionally, many of the areas they must now inhabit have high levels of pollution. In fact, the Hines Emerald Dragonfly remains especially sensitive to water quality.
Hines Emerald Dragonfly Physical Characteristics and Life Cycle
This dragonfly is relatively large. Adults average a body length of roughly 2.5 in (6.35 cm). Wingspans are also usually an impressive 3.3 in (8.4 cm) among adults.
The species draws its name from the distinctive bright emerald-green eyes, and the body is also a metallic green in color.
The majority of individuals possess one or more yellow stripes along the sides. They actually spend the majority of their lives as nymphs spending between 2-4 years in that state, living in the water. When they finally emerge from the water as adults, it is only to breed. Once they leave the water, they only live for 4-5 weeks more.
Hines Emerald Dragonfly Habitat, Threats, and Protection Efforts
The natural habitat of the dragonfly is also highly specific and consists of calcareous, spring-fed marshes, and sedge meadows which overlay a dolomite layer.
Efforts are underway to preserve the species and expand their territory. It is now illegal to harm or even interfere with a member of this insect. Most of the marshes and meadows that they inhabit are now under legal protection, and even undergo cleaning of contaminants to aid in the preservation of the species.