Length: Males 45-52 mm. Females 38-44 mm
Some Rubyspots can prove tricky to identify, but not Hetaerina cruentata. In this species there is a metallic green wedge-shaped spot on the sides of the thorax. This spot is most easily seen in the bottom photograph on this page. No other species has this spot.
Hetaerina cruentata rages from Mexico to Brazil. The ones shown here were photographed in Matagalpa Province, Nicaragua, at an elevation of 1000 meters. Overall, this species is found from elevations of 700 to 1900 meters. The species favors riverine environments, and seem to tolerate polluted rivers (Esquivel, 2006).
Most males and females arrive at the river around 11:00 a.m., and males establish a territory along 4-6 meters of shoreline. The males maintain their territories for about three weeks.
Ovipositing takes place in tandem, with the female depositing the eggs on partly submerged water plants.
The species name cruentata is Latin for bloody, referring to the red wing spot. Another species in this genus also has a Latin name that means bloody, Hetaerina saguinea.