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.
The male of this species is a black-type bluet because of its largely black abdomen. One of the smallest bluets, the body length varies from 0.8 to 1.1 inches. The male has a blue thorax with a black dorsal stripe and shoulder stripes. The eyes have small blue tear-shaped eyespots. The abdomen is mostly black with a large blue spot near the tip and blue hourglass-shape on the sides near the base. The female is similar but with pale areas tan to pale blue. Her abdomen is mostly black above with blue spots near the tip.
Description of Habitat/Range:
Ranging throughout eastern United States and southeastern Canada, this species can be found at flowing and still-water habitats, clear small streams and vegetated ponds and lakes. In Wisconsin, it is common and widespread throughout the state.