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Bluets - Enallagma

BluetsThis is a widely spread genus of small to medium size Pond Damsels with 35 species residing in North America, most showing similar characteristics within the genus.  The males of most species are colored in various combinations of blue and black, but some are red, orange, yellow or lavender.  The thorax is patterned with distinct stripes and the abdomen is variably patterned with black.  Most bluets have postocular spots and/or an intra-occular line.  Wings are generally clear with short thick stigmas. The shape and size of the postocular spots and intra-occular line can help in ID.  Wings are generally hyaline with short stigmas.

Females are often tan, green or yellow.  In some cases, the abdominal pattern of the female , especially S8-S10 is distinctive and the females may be easier to ID than the males. Females have a ventral spine located on segment eight, distinguishing them from other pond damsels.

Bluets are weak fliers and don't usually venture out too far from cover.  When perched, they usually hold their wings alongside their abdomen.

The shape and size of the postocular spots and intra-occular line, the relative sizes of the blue and black thoracic markings and the abdominal pattern may be clues to the ID of some species. On the other hand, several groups of species are so similar that the only way to identify them is through in-hand examination.

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