Argia emma
(Emma's Dancer)

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

   Naiad-This is a small, but robust naiad ¾ inch (20 to 21 mm) long. The coloration is light brown with dark brown markings.
   Adult-This is a medium-sized damselfly 1 ¼ to 1 ½ inches (33 to 39 mm) long. The males are a bright violet color, and are the only damselflies with this color in our area. The females are variable in color. They can be creamy white to dark brown in color, or olive, or slate blue. They have a pair of black spots on the upper side of segment two.

This species is found in eastern British Columbia and Alberta south to Nebraska, Nevada, and California. In Idaho it is found throughout the state.

This damselfly is found at streams and rivers, or along lake shores near inlet or outlet streams.

Adult Flight Season:
June 23 to August 12

   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 abundant along streams flowing through sagebrush desert. The naiads live under rocks in riffles or under debris in pools.

After males and females mate, the female Emma's Dancer oviposits in tandem in submerged tree roots in streams. The females crawl backward down the roots until their abdomen is submerged. The male remains attached by grasping behind the female's head with his anal appendages.

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 Unpublished M. S. thesis.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.