Wisconsin Odonata Survey

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Argia tibialis  (Rambur, 1842)
Blue-tipped Dancer


Coenagrionidae, Pond Damsel Family

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.

Status-Global/State:

Global: G5     Wisconsin: S3    

Distinguishing Characteristics:

The body length for both genders of the blue-tipped dancers varies from 1.2 to 1.5 inches. The male is dark with a violet face. The dorsal surface of the thorax is mostly black with violet stripes, creating a dark appearance. The sides of the thorax are pale. The abdomen is black with blue tip. The female is either pale tan or pale blue with markings, generally similar to the male.

Description of Habitat/Range:

Found in eastern United States, this species prefers rivers and streams with slow or fast-moving water. In Wisconsin, it is widely distributed throughout the southern half of the state.

Flight Season:

Throughout its range, the flight season is from late May to late August. In Wisconsin, the peak of the flight season is from early June to late July.


Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
47%
(55)
47%
(56)
5%
(6)
1%
(1)
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

(Click on photos to enlarge)
Photo of Male blue-tipped dancer
Male blue-tipped dancer. © Dan Jackson

Male blue-tipped dancer
Photo of Immature male blue-tipped dancer
Immature male blue-tipped dancer. © Dan Jackson

Immature male blue-tipped dancer
Photo of Blue-form female blue-tipped dancer
Blue-form female blue-tipped dancer. © Dan Jackson

Blue-form female blue-tipped dancer
Photo of Brown-form female blue-tipped dancer
Brown-form female blue-tipped dancer. © Dan Jackson

Brown-form female blue-tipped dancer
Photo of Female and male blue-tipped dancers in tandem
Female and male blue-tipped dancers in tandem. © Dan Jackson

Female and male blue-tipped dancers in tandem



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