American rubyspot

The American rubyspot (Hetaerina americana) is a damselfly of the family Calopterygidae. Males have a lustrous red head and thorax. The abdomen of both genders is brilliant green.[3] The female may have either green or copper colored marks on the thorax.[4]

American rubyspot
Hetaerina americana.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Odonata
Suborder: Zygoptera
Family: Calopterygidae
Genus: Hetaerina
H. americana
Binomial name
Hetaerina americana
(Fabricius, 1798) [1]
North America Range Hetaerina americana.svg
Range of H. americana [2]

During mating, a male uses claspers at the end of his abdomen to grab a female behind the head, and the female bends her abdomen to engage segments 2–3 of the male, where sperm is stored, forming a "wheel" or "valentine". The male forcefully expels sperm stored by the female from prior matings before injecting his own.


The name highlights this damselfly's status as the most widespread of the North American rubyspots.[5] It is reported from all of the lower 48 US states except Washington and Idaho, and is also found in Mexico and southern and eastern Canada.[2]


  1. ^ "Hetaerina americana". Integrated Taxonomic Information System.
  2. ^ a b "Distribution Viewer". OdonataCentral. Retrieved December 17, 2009.
  3. ^ Abbott, John C. (2005). Dragonflies and Damselflies of Texas and the South-Central United States. Princeton University Press. p. 25. ISBN 0-691-11364-5.
  4. ^ "Hetaerina americana". BugGuide.Net. Retrieved December 16, 2009.
  5. ^ Paulson, Dennis R; Dunkle, Sidney W (14 April 2009). "A Checklist of North American Odonata": 5. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)