Wisconsin Odonata Survey


Enallagma boreale  Selys, 1875
Boreal 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: S5    

Distinguishing Characteristics:

The male of this species is a blue-type bluet because of its predominantly blue abdomen. The blue male and blue-green female are similar to the northern bluet, vernal bluet, and familiar bluet in the field. The body length varies from 1.1 to 1.5 inches.

Description of Habitat/Range:

This species is found throughout northern United States and Canada. Southeast part of Alaska has been documented for this species. It is usually found at still waters, including ponds and boggy lakes. In some places, it also can be found at slow streams. In Wisconsin, it is a fairly common and widespread, early-season species that is probably under-reported because of difficulty in identification.

Flight Season:

Typical flight season is from late May to mid-July 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 boreal bluet
Male boreal bluet. © Dan Jackson

Photo of Male boreal bluet
Male boreal bluet. © Mike Reese

Photo of Close-up of male boreal bluet clasper
Close-up of male boreal bluet clasper. © Dan Jackson

Photo of Olive-form female boreal bluet
Olive-form female boreal bluet. © Dan Jackson

Photo of Blue-form female boreal bluet
Blue-form female boreal bluet. © Dan Jackson

Photo of Female boreal bluet
Female boreal bluet. © Mike Reese

Photo of Pair of boreal bluets
Pair of boreal bluets. © Dan Jackson

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