Northern emerald

The northern emerald (Somatochlora arctica) is a middle-sized species of dragonfly first described by Johan Wilhelm Zetterstedt in 1840. The male can be recognised by its pincer-like appendages and its narrow-waisted body. The female has distinctive orange-yellow spots on (only) the third segment of the abdomen.

Northern emerald
Somatochlora arctica.JPG
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Odonata
Infraorder: Anisoptera
Family: Corduliidae
Genus: Somatochlora
S. arctica
Binomial name
Somatochlora arctica
(Zetterstedt, 1840)
  • Aeshna arctica Zetterstedt, 1840
  • Cordulia subalpina Selys, 1840
  • Somatochlora gratiosa Bartenev, 1919

This species lives in bogs and lays its eggs in very small water-filled depressions. It hunts between trees and avoids open spaces.

In Great Britain, it is only present in north-western Scotland and is confined to the south-western part of Ireland.[2] It is present in all of northern Eurasia. In Western Europe, it is present in alpine areas and wherever a suitable habitat can be found. It is found in the Rila mountains of Bulgaria.


  1. ^ Dennis Paulson; Martin Schorr; Cyrille Deliry. "World Odonata List". University of Puget Sound. Retrieved 15 Feb 2022.
  2. ^ "Somatochlora arctica - Northern Emerald". British Dragonfly Society. 2011-05-28.