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Species spotlight: Ringed boghaunter

Ringed boghaunter are among the many plant and animal species protected under the Massachusetts Endangered Species Act. Learn more about this elusive dragonfly, how MassWildlife biologists are working to protect this threatened species, and what you can do to help.

MassWildlife’s Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program conserves and protects the most vulnerable animal and plant species of Massachusetts and the habitats upon which they depend.

Ringed boghaunter


Common name: Ringed boghaunter
Scientific name: Williamsonia lintneri
Size: 1½ inches long with 1 inch wingspan
Range: Northeastern states from Maine to New Jersey and west in Michigan and Wisconsin
MA conservation status: Threatened
Federal conservation status: Not listed

Fun facts

  • Ringed boghaunters are often found near bogs and fens with acidic waters that contain sphagnum moss and areas of open water.

  • The fully aquatic nymph lives underwater for over a year.

  • In late April to early May they are one of the first dragonflies to emerge from the water as a winged adult.

  • Adults spend most of their time in woodlands basking in the sun and looking for small insects to feed on. 

  • Their dark coloration and low flight habit make this cryptic dragonfly one of the most difficult to find!

Threats and conservation

  • Degradation of relatively rare acidic bogs, fens, and surrounding uplands occupied by ringed boghaunters are the primary threat to its persistence.

  • MassWildlife continues to monitor the ringed boghaunter and work towards protecting its breeding wetlands from habitat alteration.​

How you can help

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