Damselflies

NOTES

Representative photos of a male and female of each species are shown (if available).

Click on Photo Gallery Link for each species to see all available photos of that species (sometimes more than 20). 

Use Table of Contents to scroll directly to Family if you know it.  Otherwise, scroll down the page to browse.  

Flight dates : for Delmarva (DMV) based on White (2011), personal observations and posts to the NEOdes listserv.   For species rare on the Delmarva, flight dates for NJ taken from the NJOdes website and flight dates for GA taken from Beaton (2007).  




1. Broad-winged Damsels (Family Colopterygidae)


Sparkling Jewelwing (Calopteryx dimidiata)
    Sparkling Jewelwing Photo Gallery
    Uncommon, Summer, slow shady steams on the coastal plain
    DMV: 12 May - 06 Aug
Male, Idylwild, MD
Female, Greensboro Christian Park, MD

Ebony Jewelwing (
Calopteryx maculata)
    Ebony Jewelwing Photo Gallery
    Common, Summer, widespread, slow shady steams
    DMV: 20 Apr - 08 Sep

 Male, Lum's Pond
 Female, Lum's Pond

American Rubyspot (
Hetaerina americana)

    American Rubyspot Photo Gallery
    Uncommon, Fall, flowing Piedmont Streams
    DMV: 30 Jul - 28 Sep
Male, Fair Hill WMA
 Female, Green Form, White Clay Creek State Park

2. Spreadwings (Family Lestidae)


Great Spreadwing (Archilestes grandis)
    Great Spreadwing Photo Gallery
    Rare and possibly decreasing or overlooked due to very late flight season, small, slow moving streams

    DMV: 09 Jul - 22 Oct


 Male, Rock Springs Nature Preserve, Fulton, PA
Female, Rock Springs Nature Preserve, Fulton, PA

Southern Spreadwing (Lestes australis)
    Southern Spreadwing Photo Gallery
    Uncommon, Summer, sunny fishless ponds, Delmarva Bays
    DMV: 16 Apr - 05 Nov


 Male, Chatsworth Lake, NJ  Ovipositing Pair, Susquehanna State Park, MD

Spotted Spreadwing (
Lestes congener)

    Spotted Spreadwing Photo Gallery
   
Uncommon, Fall, fishless ponds, Delmarva Bays
    DMV: 29 Jun - 08 Nov
 Male, Lum's Pond
Pair, ovipositing in tandem, Lum's Pond

Amber-winged Spreadwing (
Lestes eurinus)

    Amber-winged Spreadwing Spreadwing Photo Gallery
   
Rare, early Summer, local, fishless ponds, Delmarva Bays, vernal pools
    DMV: 31 May - 22 Jun


 Male, Taylor's Bridge
Pair in tandem, 10 Acre Pond, State College, PA 
Sweetflag Spreadwing (Lestes forcipatus)
    Sweetflag Spreadwing Photo Gallery
   
Common, Summer, fishless ponds and Delmarva Bays
    DMV: 30 May - 15 Oct

 Male, Blackbird State Forest
 Female, Lum's Pond State Park
Elegant Spreadwing (Lestes inaequalis)
    Elegant Spreadwing Photo Gallery
   
Uncommon, Summer, ponds with lots of emergent vegetation
    DMV: 06 July - 26 Aug

 Male, Calvert Cliffs SP, MD
Female, Idylwild WMA, MD with flash 

Slender Spreadwing (Lestes rectangularis)
    Slender Spreadwing Photo Gallery
   
Common, Summer and Fall, marshy ponds, Delmarva Bays, slow flowing streams
    DMV: 12 May - 15 Oct

 Male, Bombay Hook NWR
 Female, Summit Bridge Ponds

Swamp Spreadwing (
Lestes vigilax)

    Swamp Spreadwing Photo Gallery
   
Uncommon, Summer and Fall, vegetated shores of permanent ponds
    DMV: 17 May - 06 Sep

  Male, Gunnery Range Pond, NJ
Female,  Whipple Dam, Huntingdon Co, PA

3. Pond Damsels (Family Coenagrionidae)

3a. Red Damsels (Genus Amphiagrion)

Eastern Red Damsel (Amphiagrion saucium)
    Eastern Red Damsel Photo Gallery
    Uncommon, Spring and early Summer, grassy seeps, easy to overlook, perches low in tall grass
    DMV: 30 Apr - 05 July

Male, Glasgow Muddy Run
Female, Lum's Pond


3b. Dancers (Genus Argia)

Blue-fronted Dancer (Argia apicalis)
    Blue-fronted Dancer Photo Gallery
    Abundant, Summer and Fall, large ponds and rivers, forest trails and dirt roads
    DMV: 25 May - 21 Oct

 Male, Lum's Pond
Female, Brown Morph, Lum's Pond   Female, Blue Morph, Lum's Pond

Seepage Dancer (Argia bipunctulata
)

    Seepage Dancer Photo Gallery
   
Rare, Summer, very local in specialized habitat, seaside fens and bogs; critically endangered habitat; last recorded in 2007; possibly extirpated
    DMV: 25 Jun - 04 Aug;  NJ: 11 May - 16 Sep

       Male, Webb's Mill Bog, NJ
 Tandem Pair, Webb's Mill Bog, NJ
Variable Dancer (Argia fumipennis)
    Variable Dancer Photo Gallery
   
Common, Summer, flowing water, more common in Piedmont
    DMV: 15 May - 02 Oct

 Male, Muddy Run, Glasgow
 Female, Lum's Pond

Powdered Dancer (Argia moesta)
    Powdered Dancer Photo Gallery
   
Common, Summer, Piedmont streams, riffles and rapids
    DMV: 22 May - 19 Sep


Male, White Clay Creek State Park   Female, Blue Morph, White Clay Creek State Park
Blue-ringed Dancer (Argia sedula)
    Blue-ringed Dancer Photo Gallery
   
Accidental in early September 1944, large streams and rivers with well vegetated margins
    NJ: 20 Jun - 18 Aug

       Male, National Butterfly Center, McAllen, TX  Female, Bentsen State Park, McAllen, TX

Blue-tipped Dancer (Argia tibialis)
    Blue-tipped Dancer Photo Gallery
   
Very Common, Summer, slow streams, bridges, more common on Coastal Plain
    DMV: 19 May - 05 Sep


 Male, Greensboro Christian Park, MD
 Female, Blue Morph, Greensboro Christian Park, MD
 Female, Brown Morph, Idylwild, MD


Dusky Dancer (Argia translata)
    Dusky Dancer Photo Gallery
   
Uncommon
, Summer, clear Piedmont streams
    DMV: 07 July - 04 Sep


Male, White Clay Creek State Park
Female, White Clay Creek State Park

3c. Aurora Damsel (Genus Chromagrion)

Aurora Damsel (Chromagrion conditum)
    Aurora Damsel Photo Gallery
    Rare
and decreasing, small pools on spring fed streams, short flight season
    DMV: 16 April - 27 Jun


Male, Idylwild WMA, MD Immature Female, Idylwild WMA, MD


3d. American Bluets (Genus Enallagma)

Azure Bluet (Engallagma aspersum)
    Azure Bluet Photo Gallery
    Fairly common,
Spring and Summer, fishless ponds, early colonizer of new wetlands
    DMV: 07 Apr - 09 Oct

 Male, Winslow WMA, NJ
 Female, Lum's Pond

Double-striped Bluet (
Enallagma basidens)
    Double-striped Bluet Photo Gallery
   
Uncommon, Summer, fairly widespread in a variety of habitats

    DMV: 12 May - 18 Oct


 Male, Summit Bridge Ponds
 Pair in wheel, Summit Bridge Ponds
Familiar Bluet (Enallagma civile)
    Familiar Bluet Photo Gallery
    Common, Spring and Summer, widespread in a variety of habitats

    DMV: 17 Apr - 16 Nov

 
 Male, Lum's Pond
 Female, Lum's Pond  
   
   
Attenuated Bluet (Enallagma daeckii)
    Attenuated Bluet Photo Gallery
   
Uncommon and local, Summer, shady, well vegetated woodland ponds and seeps
in southern Delmarva
    DMV: 17 May - 24 July

 Male, Pakim Pond, NJ
 Tandem Pair, Franklin Parker Preserve, NJ

Turquoise Bluet (Enallagma divagans)
    Turquoise Bluet Photo Gallery
   
Fairly common, early Summer, emergent vegetation on coastal plain streams

    DMV: 01 May - 14 July
 Male, Idylwild, MD
Female, Idylwild, MD


Atlantic Bluet (Enallagma doubledayi)
    Atlantic Bluet Photo Gallery
   
Rare, but may be overlooked due to extreme similarity to Familiar Bluet; sandy, fishless ponds, southern Delmarva

    DMV: 18 Jul - 09 Sep; NJ 12 May - 23 Oct

 
 Male, Franklin Parker Preserve, NJ
 

Burgundy Bluet (Enallagma dubium)
    Burgundy Bluet Photo Gallery
   
Rare and local, Summer, unpolluted, lilypad covered ponds, usually perches far from shore
, often in shade
    DMV: 15 Jun - 31 Aug

 Male, Idylwild WMA, MD

Big Bluet (Enallagma durum)
    Big Bluet Photo Gallery
   
Uncommon and local, Summer, large ponds and estuaries (salt tolerant)

    DMV: 25 May - 21 Oct

 Male, Elk Neck SP, MD
 Female, Lum's Pond, eating Eastern Forktail
Stream Bluet (Enallagma exsulans)
    Stream Bluet Photo Gallery
    Common in the Piedmont, uncommon elsewhere, Summer, streams

    DMV: 28 May - 01 Oct

 Male, Deer Creek Conservation Area, MD
 Pair in tandem, Northeast Creek, MD

Skimming Bluet (Enallagma geminatum)
    Skimming Bluet Photo Gallery
   
Fairly common, Summer,
widespread on vegetated ponds, perches on lily pads and other emergent or floating vegetation
    DMV: 01 May - 25 Sep

 
      Male, Lum's Pond
Pair in tandem, Lum's Pond
 

Pale Bluet (Enallagma pallidum)
    Pale Bluet Photo Gallery
   
Rare and decreasing,
very few records since the 1970's, shrubby pond edges where it perches in the shade, Idylwild now has a small, recently discovered population
    DMV: 23 Jun - 09 Aug


Male, Idylwild WMA, MD

Orange Bluet (Enallagma signatum)

    Orange Bluet Photo Gallery
   
Common, Summer, ponds and slow streams,
flies in shade and in late afternoon
    DMV: 29 Apr - 18 Oct

 
 Male, Lum's Pond
 Pair in Tandem, Lum's Pond
 

Slender Bluet (
Enallagma traviatum)
    Slender Bluet Photo Gallery
   
Common and widespread, early Summer, vegetated ponds

    DMV: 30 May - 18 Aug

 Male, Lum's Pond SP
 Female, Lum's Pond
Vesper Bluet (Enallagma vesperum)
    Vesper Bluet Photo Gallery
   
Poorly known, rarely seen and probably overlooked due to crepuscular habits, Summer, flies from dusk to near dark

    DMV: 09 May - 26 Sep

 Male, Summit Bridge Ponds

Blackwater Bluet (Enallagma weewa)
    Blackwater Bluet Photo Gallery
   
Rare and local, Summer, fast flowing Coastal Plain streams

    DMV: 19 May - 31 Aug

 Male, Greensboro, MD



3e. Forktails (Genus Ischnura)

Citrine Forktail (Ischnura hastata)
    Citrine Forktail Photo Gallery
    Abundant, ponds and seeps, extremely long flight season, one of the smallest but perhaps the hardiest adult odonate
    DMV: 03 Apr - 22 Dec

 Male, Winslow WMA, NJ
 Mature Female, Summit Bridge Ponds
Immature female, Summit Bridge Ponds

Lilypad Forktail (
Ischnura kellicotti)
    Lilypad Forktail Photo Gallery
    Scarce and local, Summer, restricted to lily pad covered ponds
    DMV: 30 Apr - 02 Sep

 Male, Blackbird State Forest
 Female, Blue Morph, Idylwild WMA, MD  Female, Orange Morph, Idylwild WMA, MD

Fragile Forktail (Ischnura posita)
    Fragile Forktail Photo Gallery
    Abundant and ubiquitous, long flight season
    DMV: 17 Mar - 15 Oct

 Male, Lum's Pond State Park
 Female, Summit Bridge Ponds

Furtive Forktail (Ischnura prognata)
    Furtive Forktail Photo Gallery
    Rare, local, early Summer, shaded vegetation around ponds and ditches with lizard tail
    DMV: 19 May - 15 July

 Male, Fakahatchee Strand SP, Collier County, FL


Rambur's Forktail (Ischnura ramburii)
    Rambur's Forktail Photo Gallery
    Common and widespread, Summer, pond edges, wet meadows, brackish ponds and salt marshes (tolerates salinity)
    DMV: 18 May - 09 Nov

 Male, Blackbird Creek Preserve
Mature Female, Summit Bridge Ponds
 Immature Female, Lum's Pond


Eastern Forktail (Ischnura verticalis)
    Eastern Forktail Photo Gallery
    Common and widespread, Summer, many types of wetland habitats
    DMV: 29 Mar - 18 Oct

 Male, Summit Bridge Ponds
 Mature Female, Summit Bridge Ponds
 Immature Female, Summit Bridge Ponds


3f.  Sprites (Genus Nehalennia)

Sphagnum Sprite (Nehalennia gracilis)
    Sphagnum Sprite Photo Gallery
    Uncommon and very local, Summer, bogs and fens
    DMV: 17 May - 04 Aug

 Male, Summit Bridge Ponds
 Female, Idylwild WMA, MD

Southern Sprite (Nehalennia integricollis)
    Southern Sprite Photo Gallery
    Rare and local, Summer, hard to see and poorly known, edges of grassy ponds on the coastal plain
    DMV: 27 May - 06 Aug

 Male, Franklin Parker Preserve, NJ 


3g.  Firetails (Genus Telebasis)

Duckweed Firetail (Telebasis byersi)
    Duckweed Firetail Photo Gallery
    Rare and extremely local, Summer, very specialized habitat, duckweed carpeted ponds; possibly extirpated
    DMV: 06 Jul - 25 Jul

Male, Carson Wetlands, VA 



All photographs on this site are copyright Michael C. Moore.  No other use allowed without prior permission (mcmoore32@gmail.com).