Wisconsin Odonata Survey


Enallagma signatum  (Hagen, 1861)
Orange Bluet

Coenagrionidae, Pond Damsel Family

The bluets form a group of about 17 similar species in Wisconsin in which the males usually share the characteristics of having blue and black stripes on the thorax, and blue and black markings on the abdomen. In-hand examinations are usually needed to identify them, although they can be grouped into subcategories based on the amount of black showing on the abdomen. Males are easily identified, under magnification, by the shape of their terminal appendages. Females are generally duller than males, and they are more difficult to identify, which is accomplished by subtle differences in the shape of the mesostigmal plates on the top of the thorax. Generally, males are bright blue while the females are green or yellow-green or blue. There are some species that are yellow-orange, a mix of various colors, or black with some blue.


Global: G5     Wisconsin: S4    

Distinguishing Characteristics:

This is one of the unusually-colored bluets, with the body length varying from 1.1 to 1.5 inches. The male has a orange thorax with black dorsal and shoulder stripes. The abdomen is mostly black with orange rings. The female is similar but the pale areas are dull yellow. Her abdomen is mostly black with a pale tip.

Description of Habitat/Range:

This species is common throughout eastern to central United States, including parts in southeast Canada. The orange bluet is usually found at a variety of non-moving water habitats, including slow streams, small lakes, and quiet bays. It is widespread and fairly common throughout Wisconsin.

Flight Season:

Late May to late August in Wisconsin.

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 orange bluet
Male orange bluet. © Dan Jackson

Male orange bluet
Photo of Teneral male orange bluet
Teneral male orange bluet. © Dan Jackson

Teneral male orange bluet
Photo of Female olive-form orange bluet
Female olive-form orange bluet. © Dan Jackson

Female olive-form orange bluet
Photo of Female orange-form orange bluet
Female orange-form orange bluet. © Dan Jackson

Female orange-form orange bluet
Photo of Immature female orange bluet
Immature female orange bluet. © Dan Jackson

Immature female orange bluet
Photo of Orange bluet pair in wheel
Orange bluet pair in wheel. © Dan Jackson

Orange bluet pair in wheel

This site is produced in conjunction with the Wisconsin Aquatic and Terrestrial Resources Inventory and sponsored by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. The information presented on this site is subject to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources' Legal Notices, Disclaimers, and Terms of Use.