Damselfly Pictures: Bluets

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picture of a familiar bluet damselfly, part of the damselfly pictures collection

Damselfly Pictures: Bluets (Enallagma) – These damselfly pictures are presented as aides for general damselfly identification questions. As additional species are photographed, they will be added to the collection.

Sometimes damselfly identification is generally easy because of color. At least that’s partially true for the mostly blue colored Bluets (genus Egallagma). Approximately three dozen species inhabit temporary or standing water areas throughout North America, insuring that there’s at least one species in every neighborhood pond.

Along the southern half of North America, many bluet species fly year round. Eight species represent the bluets here. The most widespread Enallagma species, the Familiar Bluet (Enallagma civile), gets top picture billing.

Their predominantly blue abdomen (except for the very bottom) serves as a good field identification clue.

picture of a Purple Bluet damselfly
The Purple Bluet (Enallagma cardenium), a colorful tropical species found in the Caribbean, also expands its range to Florida, and perhaps southern Georgia.

picture of a male tule bluet damselfly
Like most of the Enallagma species, you need to get a feel for identifying the Tule Bluet (Enallagma carunculatum).

It’s another very common pond damsel found at both lower and higher elevations across much of the United States.

The presence of more black than blue on the abdominal pattern (compared to other bluets in the area) usually serves as the best field identification clue.

picture of an Orange Bluet: credit iloque Flickr
A unique color helps identify the Orange Bluet Damselfly (Enallagma signatum). It’s common in ponds East of the Rocky Mountains.

picture of a Northern Bluet, credit Judy Gallagher, Flickr
Northern Bluets are a common species across the northern tier of the United States from New England to the Pacific Northwest. Look for a single patch of blue color on the tip of the abdomen and two blue eye spots.

picture of an Alkali Bluet: credit Judy Gallagher Flickr
Alkali Bluet (Enallagma clausum) are a Western and Rocky Mountain species.

picture of a Boreal Bluet
Boreal Bluet Damselfly (Enallagma boreale): They have a big western presence and a smaller presence in the boreal forests of the Upper Midwest and New England.

picture of a Stream Bluet, credit Aaron Carlson Flickr
Stream bluets are common along the Eastern seaboard and in the Midwest. Check the tip, a good field ID clue is the presence of only one blue spot.

The common name stream bluet strongly suggests that slow moving streams are their preferred habitat.