Several Blue-tipped Dancer damselflies (Argia tibialis) were spotted at two nearby places with similar habitat: both locations are densely forested; one location is a small sandy stream with slow-to-medium current.
Blue-tipped Dancers are members of the Pond Damsels Family of damselflies. Male Blue-tipped Dancer damselflies look similar to male Orange Bluet damselflies, another species of Pond Damsel. A key field marker may be used to differentiate males of the two species: Blue-tipped Dancer is so-named because the tip of its abdomen is bluish-white; Orange Bluet has an orange-tipped abdomen.
All photos in this post were taken using my Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ150 superzoom camera (superseded by Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200). The preceding photos were shot using the built-in pop-up flash; flash was off for the following photos.
Female Blue-tipped Dancer damselflies are polymorphic: a brown form (shown below); and a blue form (same pattern of markings).
It’s possible the following individual may be a blue form female Blue-tipped Dancer damselfly. Although pop-up flash was used to take these photos, more power was necessary for good exposures in the dark shadows of the forest.
I consulted a couple of experts for confirmation of my tentative identification.
This one’s tough but I don’t think it’s a male Dusky [Dancer damselfly (Argia translata)]. Male Dusky can show a pale shoulder stripe when immature but I’ve not seen one with wide frontal ones. It could be a female, but the shape of the dark shoulder stripes and its coloration is not typical. I guess I lean towards a blue form female Blue-tipped although it’s tough to say if abdominal segment 10 is pale or not. The shape of the dark shoulder stripes aren’t perfect for Blue-tipped but not out of the realm of possibility. Source Credit: Mr. Ed Lam, author and illustrator of Damselflies of the Northeast.
That’s a tough one. If I had to guess I would say Blue-tipped Dancer. Lighting and angle are difficult, but sure looks like an Argia in any case. Source Credit: Mr. Chris Hobson, Natural Areas Zoologist with the Virginia Natural Heritage Program, Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation.
Blue-tipped Dancer damselflies love timberlands and Timberlands!
Copyright © 2015 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.