- Division of Fisheries and Wildlife
- MassWildlife's Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Program
Media Contact for Species Spotlight: Ringed boghaunter
Marion Larson, MassWildlife
The year 2020 marks the 30th anniversary of the Massachusetts Endangered Species Act (MESA)! To celebrate, MassWildlife will be highlighting one rare species each month as a Species Spotlight. Through the implementation of MESA, MassWildlife’s Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program conserves and protects the most vulnerable animals and plants of Massachusetts and the habitats upon which they depend. Stay up to date on how MassWildlife is celebrating this important milestone by visiting mass.gov/30MESA
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
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
- Report any observations of the ringed boghaunter to MassWildlife’s Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program (NHESP). Click here for instructions to submit rare species observations.
- MassWildlife's NHESP is responsible for the conservation and protection of over 400 rare animals and plants, including the ringed boghaunter. NHESP's work is primarily funded through grants and donations from supportive citizens. Donate to NHESP today at mass.gov/support-nhesp.