Wisconsin Odonata Survey


Enallagma exsulans  (Hagen, 1861)
Stream 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 black-type bluet because of its predominantly black abdomen. The male has blue thorax with black stripes on the front and the shoulders. The abdomen is mostly black with narrow blue rings and blue tip. The female is greenish color with brown shoulder stripes. The abdomen does not have blue rings and has less blue on the tip. The underside of the abdomen is greenish. The body length varies from 1.0 to 1.3 inches.

Description of Habitat/Range:

Ranging from eastern to central United States, including southeast Canada. This species is usually found at medium to large streams, rivers with moderate flow, and lakeshores. It is common and widespread throughout Wisconsin.

Flight Season:

Early June 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 stream bluet
Male stream bluet. © Dan Jackson

Photo of Male stream bluet
Male stream bluet. © Dan Jackson

Photo of Side (top image) and top view of cercus for male stream bluet
Side (top image) and top view of cercus for male stream bluet. © Dan Jackson

Photo of Female stream bluet
Female stream bluet. © Dennis Paulson

Photo of Female stream bluet
Female stream bluet. © Dan Jackson

Photo of Stream bluet pair in wheel
Stream bluet pair in wheel. © Dan Jackson

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