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New Jersey Endangered and Threatened Species Field Guide

Image of A Kennedy's emerald dragonfly.Zoom+ A Kennedy's emerald dragonfly. © Allen Barlow

Kennedy's emerald

Somatochlora kennedyi

Species Group: Invertebrate

Conservation Status

State: Threatened



This large, dark dragonfly can reach up to 2.2” with males being smaller than females. Bright green eyes in adults are more muted in less mature individuals. Their green thorax is accented by 2 wide pale stripes, the black abdomen has a green iridescence, and their transparent wings are black veined. Females can be identified by yellow coloration on the first two segments of their abdomen.

Image of Range of the Kennedy's emerald in New Jersey.Zoom+ Range of the Kennedy's emerald in New Jersey.


Kennedy’s emerald has a very limited distribution in New Jersey. Currently, the only known population is in Sussex County but other populations may exist in the northern region. New Jersey is the southern limit for this species.


Nymphs feed on aquatic invertebrates while adults catch soft-bodied flying insects like mosquitoes, flies, and moths.


The short flight season of the Kennedy’s emerald begins in late May and ends by early July. After mating, females will deposit eggs directly into the substrate of more shaded sections of the stream.


Due to its rarity and the sensitivity of habitat, the Kennedy’s emerald is considered Threatened 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 Karena Di Leo in 2011.

Scientific Classification

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

Find Related Info: Invertebrates, Threatened

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