Enallagma cyathigerum
(Northern Bluet)

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

   Naiad- This is a small naiad about ¾ inch (16 to 20 mm) long. It has the typical slender shape of immature damselflies. They range in color from light to dark brown.
   Adult- This is a small damselfly 1 to 1 ¼ inches (26 to 33 mm) long. The males are predominately blue on the sides of the thorax, and the upper side of the abdomen. The lower abdominal appendages are longer than the upper appendages. Females are greenish-yellow to brown. The upper side of the abdomen is mostly black.

This species is found around the world in northern latitudes. In North America it ranges from Alaska east to Hudson Bay, and south to Virginia, Utah and California. In Idaho it is found throughout the state.

This damselfly occurs at lakes, ponds, and marshes, and streams with slow to moderate flow. It occurs in a wide variety of habitats, from sagebrush desert to mountain lakes.

Adult Flight Season:
June 4 to August 27

   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 almost identical to the Boreal Bluet, and even though they have similar ranges they almost never occur at the same body of water. The reason for this separation is not known.

The males set up territories at choice breeding sites. After males and females mate, the female Northern Bluet oviposits, or lays eggs, in aquatic 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 Unpublished M. S. thesis.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.