Enallagma exsulans

Stream Bluet


Enallagma exsulans, Stream Bluet

Family: Coenagrionidae

Length: 30-37 mm

 

While many bluet species prefer ponds and lakes, the Stream Bluet—as its name implies—is most at home along moving waters. Look for it along small to medium-sized streams and rivers. It is occasionally found at lakes too.

The Stream Bluet is one of those bluet species that are predominantly black toward the middle, with substantial blue at each end. One important identification characteristic is that all of abdominal segment nine is blue on top—and this is true only of segment nine. (Segment nine is the penultimate segment of a dragonfly's abdomen.)

Stream Bluet, Enallagma exsulans face

 

In many species of damselflies the males have a blue tip to the abdomen. The Stream Bluet is one of those less common cases where the female, too, has a blue abdominal tip. In the case of females, the top of segment ten is all blue, while part of the top of segment nine is blue. The photos below will make clearer this coloration pattern.

Summertime is the time to look for this species.

The photos on this page were taken in several West Virginia counties, and at Greenbo Lake State Park in Kentucky.

Stream Bluet, Enallagma exsulans

The blue eyespots are not overly large on the Stream Bluet.

Note on this male how abdominal segment nine is the only one that is all-blue on top.

 

Stream Bluet mating, Enallagma exsulans 

The male (above) and female have just assumed the wheel position for mating.

 

Stream Bluet female, Enallagma exsulans 

On this female Stream Bluet, note the pattern of blue on the tip of the abdomen. Segment 9 has blue on top, but some black too..

 

Stream Bluet female, Enallagma exsulans 

On this female Stream Bluet there is black, green, and yellow on the top of the thorax.