Comprehensive Description

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General Description

The prairie bluet is more robust and darker blue in colour than the other Eurasian bluets (C. interrogatum and C. resolutum) found in North America (Walker 1953). Males have a distinct colour pattern on the abdomen; segments 3 to 7 are black with blue bands that become progressively smaller towards the end of the abdomen. The end of the abdomen is almost completely blue (Walker 1953, Acorn 2004). Males also have a distinctive black spot on the top of the second abdominal segment and slightly widened terminal abdominal segments (Westfall and May 1996). Female colours are usually yellow-green to tan but can be blue like the males (Westfall and May 1996). Abdominal segments 3 to 7 are dark without coloured rings and segment 8 has pale colouration on top at the base (Walker 1953, Acorn 2004). The dorsal surface immediately behind the head on females has three lobes on the posterior margin; the middle lobe projects above the other two (Walker 1953). Prairie bluets are small damselflies, rarely exceeding 3 cm in length. Larvae of the prairie bluet are difficult to distinguish from the other Eurasian bluets or even American bluets (genus Enallagma) or forktails (genus Ischnura). The prairie bluet has no obvious characters that allows for identificaion in the field. Coenagrion larvae are of average stature with the posterior margin of the head rounded and eyes not very prominent (Walker 1953).


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© University of Alberta Museums

Source: University of Alberta Museums

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