Amphiagrion abbreviatum
(Western Red Damsel)

Order: Odonata
Suborder: Zygoptera
Order Description:
Family: Coenagrionidae
Family Description: Damsel

   Naiad-This is a small, somewhat stocky naiad ¾ inch (19 mm) long. The coloration is light brown with dark brown markings.
   Adult-This is a small damselfly 1 to 1 ¼ inches (26 to 28 mm) long. The build is stocky with short legs and abdomens. The males are the only red damselflies in our area. The thorax is black. The females are variable in color. They may be red and black colored very similarly to the males, or they may be a uniform reddish-brown.

This species is found from British Columbia east to Saskatchewan and south to Oklahoma, Nevada, and California. In Idaho, it is found throughout the state.

This damselfly is usually found at flooded meadows or shallow ponds with vegetation, such as sedges or grasses, growing out of the water along the shore.

Adult Flight Season:
May 1 to August 24

   Naiad-Naiads eat a wide variety of aquatic insects, including mosquito larvae, mayfly larvae, and other aquatic fly larvae.
   Adult-Adults eat a wide variety of small soft-bodied flying insects, such as mosquitoes, mayflies, flies and small moths. They will also pick small insects such as aphids from plants.

This species is found in a variety of habitats, but is usually associated with grasses or sedges that extend out into the water. The adults stay close to the vegetation and rarely fly out in the open.

The female Western Red Damsel oviposits either singly or in tandem, usually in floating mats of vegetation.

Populations are widespread, abundant, and secure.
Status: Unprotected nongame species
Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S?

Corbet, P. S. 1999. Dragonflies: Behavior and Ecology of Odonata. Cornell University Press, Ithaca, New York, USA, 829pp.

Logan, E. R. 1967. The Odonata of Idaho. Unpublished M. S. thesis. University of Idaho, Moscow, Idaho, USA, 105 pp.

Needham, J. G. and M. J. Westfall. 1955. Dragonflies of North America. University of California Press, Berkely, California, USA, 615 pp.

Paulson, D. R. 1999. Dragonflies of Washington. Seattle Audubon Society, Seattle, Washington, USA, 32 pp.

Walker, E. M. and P. S. Corbet. 1975. The Odonata of Canada and Alaska, Vol. III. University of Toronto Press, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, 307 pp.

Written by Mark Lung and Stefan Sommer, 2001
Photos by Dennis Paulson, 2001
Design by Ean Harker, 2001.

HTML by Marty Peck, 2001.