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Ospreys are an indicator species. The health of their population has implications for the health our coastal ecosystems.

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New Jersey Endangered and Threatened Species Field Guide

Image of An adult male forcipate emerald.Zoom+ An adult male forcipate emerald. © Glenn Corbiere

Forcipate emerald

Somatochlora forcipata

Species Group: Invertebrate

Conservation Status

State: Special Concern



Ranging in size from 1.9”-2.0”, the forcipate emerald has lateral yellow oval markings on the thorax. The abdomen is slender with lateral yellow markings. Females are stockier and have a pale yellow ovipositor.

Image of Range of the forcipate emerald in New Jersey.Zoom+ Range of the forcipate emerald in New Jersey.


This species is only known to occur in one location in Sussex County. The habitat where they are found in New Jersey consists of sphagnum swamps and marshes with small streams flowing through them. Their full range is north to the Canadian Maritimes, west to Alberta and south to West Virginia.


Nymphs feed on a wide variety of aquatic insects, small fish, and tadpoles. Adults feed in flight on small flying insects such as flies and mosquitoes.


Range-wide, the forcipate emerald flies from late May to late August. But in New Jersey, it has only been reported in late August.


The forcipate emerald is considered a species of Special Concern in New Jersey.

Text derived from the book, Field Guide to Dragonflies and Damselflies of New Jersey. 2009. By Allen E. Barlow, David M. Golden and Jim Bangma. Edited and updated by Larissa Smith in 2011.

Scientific Classification

Kingdom: Animalia
    Phylum: Arthropoda
       Class: Insecta
          Order: Odonata
             Family: Corduliidae
                Genus: Somatochlora
                   Species: S. forcipata

Find Related Info: Invertebrates, Special concern

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