Field and Swamp: Animals and Their Habitats

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Archived-by-Date Pages

Damselflies (Suborder Zygoptera)


Broad-winged Damsels (Family Calopterygidae)

Female Ebony Jewelwing, Peaks of Otter, Bedford County, VA, 7/16/12 Female Ebony Jewelwing, Durham, NC, 6/6/14 Female Ebony Jewelwing, Durham, NC, 5/15/15 Male Ebony Jewelwing, Peaks of Otter (near Abbott Lake), Bedford County, VA, 6/10/16 Male Ebony Jewelwing, Peaks of Otter (near Abbott Lake), Bedford County, VA, 6/11/16.  Flapping wings.  

Sparkling Jewelwing (Calopteryx dimidiata).  Female American Rubyspot (Hetaerina americana)    

Spread-winged Damsels (Family Lestidae)

Female Great Spreadwing (Archilestes grandis),  Daniel Boone Gardens, Boone, Watauga County, NC, 8/9/06 Spreadwing (probably Lestes genus), Carolina Beach State Park, New Hanover County, NC, 5/12/10 Spreadwing, North Carolina Zoo, Asheboro, NC, 9/30/11  

Pond Damsels (Family Coenagrionidae)

Bluets (Genus Enallagma)

Familiar Bluets (Enallagma civile)

Familiar Bluet (Enallagma civile), Durham, 7/23/05. Same Familiar Bluet (Durham, 7/23/05), apparently ovipositing (egg-laying) on grass. Male Familiar Bluet (Enallagma civile),  Durham, NC, 7/4/08

Northern Bluet (Enallagma cyatherigerum)

Dancers (Genus Argia)

Violet (Variable) Dancers (Argia fumipennis violacea)

Male Violet Dancer (Argia fumipennis violacea), Peaks of Otter, Bedford County, VA, 8/22/18 Male Violet (Variable) Dancer, Duke Forest, Korstian Division, Orange County, NC, 6/11/06 Male Violet (Variable) Dancer , Durham, NC, 7/1/07

Dusky Dancers (Argia translata)

Male Dusky Dancer (Argia translata), Durham, 6/30/05 Female Dusky Dancer, Durham, NC, 7/24/05

Blue-fronted Dancers (Argia apicalis)

Male Blue-fronted Dancer (Argia apicalis), Eno River SP, Old Cole Mill Road access, 7/6/05 Female or immature Blue-fronted Dancer.  A type of damselfly I see only at Eno River SP, Old Cole Mill Road access.  Picture taken on 6/23/05. Powdered Dancers starting mating process, Jordan Lake Dam Visitors Center, Chatham County, 9/25/05. Male Blue-fronted Dancer (Argia apicalis), Occoneechee Mountain State Natural Area, Orange County, NC, 4/9/06


Blue-ringed Dancers (Argia sedula)

Blue-ringed Dancer (Argia sedula), Little Scaly Mountain, Macon County, NC, 8/11/05. 

Powdered Dancers (Argia moesta)

Powdered Dancer (Argia moesta), Penny's Bend Nature Preserve, Durham County, NC, 5/15/19 Powdered Dancer (Argia moesta).  The other type of damselfly I see at the same place.  Picture taken the same day.  Thanks to Josh Rose for ID.

Powdered Dancer, Durham, 6/26/05 Powdered Dancer, Durham, 6/20/05 Powdered Dancer, Durham, 6/29/05.

Blue-tipped Dancers (Argia tibialis)

Female and male Blue-tipped Dancers (Argia tibialis), Durham, 7/24/05.  He is beginning the mating ritual by putting his abdomen tip behind her head. Blue-tipped Dancer, Durham, NC, 5/16/09

Forktails (Genus Ischnura)

These are pretty straightforward to identify except for the Citrine Forktail, which has at least three forms.  My reading suggests there is no consensus on the sex of blue Citrine Forktails.

Fragile Forktails (Ischnura posita)

Mating Fragile Forktails (Ischnura posita), Durham, 7/27/06 Female Fragile Forktail, Durham, 6/9/06


Male Fragile Forktail, Durham, 7/28/05.  This damselfly showed up in a wooded area off a field.  Note the characteristic "!" marks on the thorax.


Juvenile  Fragile Forktail, Durham, 4/28/06. Juvenile  Fragile Forktail, Mason Farm Biological Reserve, 4/1/06


Adult female Fragile Forktails, Durham, 4/25/06.  The third forktail (on the left) bumped into the one in the middle, and both left. Adult female Fragile Forktail, Durham, 4/11/06.  It looks like ovipositing (egg-laying), yet this took place at least 100 feet from my local swamp. Adult female Fragile Forktail, Durham, 4/28/06.  Here you can see the green in the eyes.

Citrine Forktails (Ischnura hastata)

Citrine Forktail (Ischnura hastata), female, Durham, 9/22/05.  This is the first Citrine Forktail of this orange form I've seen, although Citrine Forktails are very common in this swamp.     Same forktail.


Blue form Citrine Forktail, Durham, NC, 6/13/05.   A relatively short, "fat" damselfly, only seen in swampy areas.  This one's flight was slower and shorter than those of other damselflies I've seen.  Same insect. Blue form Citrine Forktail, Durham, 9/26/05.  Has possibly experienced some wear and tear on the end of the abdomen; I've seen many looking like that. Another blue form Citrine Forktail eating a fly, Durham, 9/26/05


Mating Citrine Forktails, Durham, NC, 9/30/14 This adult male Citrine Forktail is an especially anomalous damselfly, seen in a Durham swamp on 6/18/05.  Note the markings on the wings.  Thanks to Josh Rose for ID. This male Citrine Forktail (Durham, 6/27/05) seems to be normal.   This damselfly is even shorter than the Fragile Forktail (less than an inch long), and was barely visible to me.  These males are fairly common in my Durham neighborhood swamp. Male Citrine Forktail, Durham, 7/5/05.

Rambur's Forktails (Ischnura ramburi)

Female Rambur's Forktail (Ischnura ramburi).  I saw it on the north shore of Ocracoke Island, 5/16/05.  This is a confusing species because of the regional color variations.  Thanks to Josh Rose for ID. Female Rambur's Forktail, Town of Ocracoke, Hyde County, NC, 5/15/05. Male Rambur's Forktail , Ocracoke, Hyde County, NC, 5/19/05.  Josh Rose provided the ID.

Unidentified Damselflies

Unidentified Damselfly, Eno River SP, Old Cole Mill Road access, 6/11/05.  Could be a female Aurora Damselfly (Chromagrion conditum).

© Copyright 2005-2019 Dorothy E. Pugh. All pictures copyrighted.

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