Wisconsin Odonata Survey


Argia sedula  (Hagen, 1861)
Blue-ringed Dancer

Coenagrionidae, Pond Damsel Family
"Most Wanted" Species

The dancers (Argia species) are sometimes similar in appearance to the bluets (Enallagma species) and may require in-hand examinations to separate them. Dancers can always be identified by the long setae on the front of their tibiae, which are twice as long as the intervening spaces. In all other pond damsels, these setae are only about as long as the intervening spaces. The females generally are duller than males and more difficult to identify. The "bouncy" flight of the dancers also distinguishes them from the bluets.


Global: G5     Wisconsin: SQ    

Distinguishing Characteristics:

The body length of a blue-ringed dancer varies from 1.1 to 1.3 inches. The male's thorax is blue with black dorsal and shoulder stripes. The abdomen is black with narrow blue rings and a blue tip. The wings may have an amber tint. The eyes have blue eyespots. The female is a dull brownish, similar to other female dancers.

Description of Habitat/Range:

The blue-ringed dancer is widespread throughout United States, but not all the way to northernmost states in central and western regions. They are usually found at slow, vegetated small and large streams and rivers, lakes, and ditches. We are at the northermost part of its range in Wisconsin, and it could occur in our southern counties.

Flight Season:

Throughout the range, the flight season may be from June to August.

Shading illustrates monthly percentages of the total flight season records for the species. Each flight season record is a unique date/location/observer combination where one or more adult or an exuvia was recorded (excludes nymphs). The actual number of flight season records for each month is shown in parentheses.

Flight seasons begin earlier in the southern part of the state, often by a week or more. Also, flight charts may not be accurate for rare species because of few data available.
View user-submitted photos

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Photo of Male blue-ringed dancer
Male blue-ringed dancer. © Dan Jackson

Male blue-ringed dancer
Photo of Male blue-ringed dancer
Male blue-ringed dancer. © Dan Jackson

Male blue-ringed dancer
Photo of Female blue-ringed dancer
Female blue-ringed dancer. © Dan Jackson

Female blue-ringed dancer
Photo of Blue-ringed dancer pairs
Blue-ringed dancer pairs. © Dan Jackson

Blue-ringed dancer pairs

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