A Blue-fronted Dancer damselfly (Argia apicalis) was spotted during a photowalk along Accotink Creek Trail at Accotink Bay Wildlife Refuge (ABWR), Fairfax County, Virginia USA. An old wooden boardwalk is located near the terminus of the trail.
Female Blue-fronted Dancers are polymorphic: andromorph females are blue like males; heteromorph females are brown. Andromorph females tend to be a lighter shade of blue than males of the same species, and do not feature the same blue coloration as males on abdominal segments eight, nine, and 10 (S8-10).
The taxonomic classification of Blue-fronted Dancer is as follows: Order Odonata (Dragonflies and Damselflies); Suborder Zygoptera (Damselflies); Family Coenagrionidae (Narrow-winged Damselflies); Genus Argia (Dancers); Species apicalis.
Related Resources: Excellent digital scans created by Gayle and Jeanelle Strickland. Click on the button labeled “Download file” in order to view full-size version of the graphics.
- A. apicalis female #1 (Blue-fronted Dancer) | full-size JPG
- A. apicalis female #2 (Blue-fronted Dancer) | full-size JPG
- A. apicalis male #1 (Blue-fronted Dancer) | full-size JPG
- A. apicalis male #2 (Blue-fronted Dancer) | full-size JPG
Editor’s Note: This is the first female Blue-fronted Dancer that I’ve seen/photographed. Thanks to Michael Moore and Ed Lam, members of the Northeast Odonata Facebook group, for verifying my tentative identification. Dr. Michael Moore is an active contributor to the Dragonfly and Damselfly Field Guide and ID App; Ed Lam is author and illustrator of Damselflies of the Northeast.
Copyright © 2017 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.