Bluets - Enallagma
This 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.