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Enallagma ebrium
Marsh Bluet

(Hagen, 1861)
Coenagrionidae, Pond Damsel Family
photo of Male marsh bluet
Male marsh bluet — Dan Jackson
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.
Status-Global/State:
Global: G5 Wisconsin: S5
Distinguishing Characteristics:
The male of this species is a blue-type bluet because of its predominantly blue abdomen. It is very similar to the Hagen's bluet in the field. The female is tan to green instead of blue. The body length of the marsh bluet varies from 1.0 to 1.3 inches.
Description of Habitat/Range:
Throughout northern United States and southern Canada, the marsh bluet is usually found in marshes, vegetated ponds, lakeshores, and quiet streams. This species generally are not found in acidic conditions. It is very common and widespread throughout Wisconsin.
Flight Season:
Early June to early September in Wisconsin.
(Click on photos to enlarge)
photo of Male marsh bluet
Male marsh bluet — Dan Jackson
photo of Male marsh bluet
Male marsh bluet — Dan Jackson
photo of Immature male marsh bluet
Immature male marsh bluet — Dan Jackson
photo of Close-up of male marsh bluet thorax
Close-up of male marsh bluet thorax — Dan Jackson
photo of Male marsh bluet abdomen tip showing C-shaped cercus (upper part of clasper) in side view
Male marsh bluet abdomen tip showing C-shaped cercus (upper part of clasper) in side view — Dan Jackson
photo of Female olive-form marsh bluet
Female olive-form marsh bluet — Dan Jackson
photo of Female blue-form marsh bluet
Female blue-form marsh bluet — Dan Jackson
photo of Marsh bluet pair
Marsh bluet pair — Dan Jackson
photo of Marsh bluet pair
Marsh bluet pair — Dennis Paulson
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