With their metallic bodies and often dark marking on the wings, Jewelwings (genus Calopteryx) are show-stopping stunners. River Jewelwings of either sex can’t be mistaken for any other Rocky Mountain damselfly. Adults emerge in the last half of June or July and may be on the wing into September. Males are quick to defend their territories along the edges of a stream and will chase off rivals. They perform elaborate courtship displays, including slowly alternating wing beats and flinging themselves onto the water’s surface. Females may venture a foot or more below the water’s surface to lay their eggs in submerged plant stems, staying submerged for 40 minutes or more.
Photos by: Glenn Marangelo on 7/3/21 in the National Bison Range near Moiese, MT