Length: 24 - 31 mm
In Ischnura cervula the shoulder stripe on each side is reduced to two spots. On the sides of abdominal segments 8-9, males have a characteristic pattern of blue and black (see photo at right).
Females have a different characteristic pattern of blue and black at the rear of the abdomen (see second photo on this page). Immature females commonly have pinkish legs and thorax. Mature females either resemble the males, or are largely brown.
This species is found alongside slow streams, but also has a tolerance for brackish, saline, or alkaline ponds.
The map below shows the states and provinces reporting the Pacific Forktail; note that the South Dakota record was from the extreme western edge of the state.
Photo data (top two photos): 13 May 2007. Beaver Creek Marsh, Lane County, Oregon.
Photo data (bottom photo): 5 July 2009. Stanley Park, Vancouver, British Columbia.