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Endangered Species Program
Conserving and restoring threatened and endangered species and their ecosystems
Hine's emerald dragonfly (Somatochlora hineana)
The Hine's emerald dragonfly was first discovered in Ohio, but by the mid-1900's it was believed to be extinct. In 1988 a specimen collected in the Des Plaines River Valley (southwest of Chicago) in Illinois was later identified as this species. Subsequent surveys uncovered additional populations there, as well as northeast Wisconsin, Michigan, and Missouri. All are associated with areas of groundwater-fed wetlands that are perched over limestone bedrock.
The Hine's emerald dragonfly, listed as endangered, is found in Illinois, Missouri, Michigan and Wisconsin. Adults lay their eggs in small streams in fens and sedge meadows. After hatching, the aquatic larvae spend up to five years in wetlands before completely maturing and emerging as adult dragonflies.
Species Spotlight USFWS Chicago Field Office
Species Profile (links to National USFWS Endangered Species website)
April 11, 2016: Protecting and Restoring Hine’s Emerald Dragonfly Habitat in Northeast Michigan: The project, “Building Local Capacity to Protect and Restore Hine’s Emerald Dragonfly Habitat in Northeast Michigan," tested an approach of training students and volunteers from the local community to assist in conducting surveys for Hine’s emerald dragonfly while mapping and treating invasive plant species.
Researcher Amber Furness, a conservation biologist working with Univeristy of South Dakota professor Daniel Soluk, mounted GoPro cameras on a pickup truck and drove the Door County roads in 2012 and 2013, varying her speed from 15 mph (24 km/h) to 55 mph (88 km/h) in increments of 10 mph (16 km/h). The cameras picked up each dragonfly's position before impact. Every time Furness hit a dragonfly, she tried to collect the carcass and verify the kill (a screen kept the insects out of the truck grill.)
April 30, 2015: Effects of Reed Canary Grass and Herbicide Application
May 2013: 5-Year Review (52-page PDF; 450KB)
Sept./Oct. 2012 Cooperative Recovery in Chicago from Endangered Species Bulletin
Scientist unlocks secrets to the survival of the Hine’s emerald dragonfly at Mink River Preserve The Nature Conservancy in Wisconsin
2007 S6 Grant Project - Recovery Actions in Illinois and Wisconsin
2006 S6 Grant Project - Great Lakes Shoreline Project
2005 S6 Grant Project - Habitat Conservation Planning Assistance in Cook and Will counties, Illinois
Sept. 2001 Recovery Plan
Captive Rearing at Genoa Fish Hatchery
Dragonfly Eggs for Easter!
Genoa National Fish Hatchery received 100 Hine’s emerald dragonfly eggs from the University of South Dakota on Easter Day, April 1st, 2018. Collection efforts for 2017 in both Door County, Wisconsin and near Chicago, Illinois improved greatly over 2016, allowing the station to work with the eggs again and learn more about this early life stage.
Dragonflies to Arrive at Genoa Fish Hatchery in 2015
The Hine's emerald dragonfly was placed on the Federal Endangered Species list in 1995. The primary reason for the species' decline was loss of habitat due to urban development. The historic range for the dragonfly includes Alabama, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Missouri, Michigan and Wisconsin, but the insect has already disappeared from Alabama, Ohio and Indiana. Habitat restoration efforts are underway in several locations and with culture methods being developed to breed more dragonflies, there is great hope for the species to become re-established in its historic ranges.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Programs Work Together and with Partners to Save an Endangered Dragonfly
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Chicago Ecological Services Office and the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge Complex-Genoa National Fish Hatchery are working together to develop a captive rearing program for the endangered Hine’s emerald dragonfly (Somatochlora hineana ).
Brochure: Protecting Groundwater in Door County (2-Page PDF)
Brochure: Chicago-area Brochure
Last updated: October 10, 2018