Insect Identification
Insect Identification

Blue-fronted Dancer - (Argia apicalis)

Authored By Staff Writer | Last Updated: 11/21/2013

The slender Blue-fronted Dancer is a Damselfly that flits and bounces as it flies making it a natural choreographer.

Picture of Blue-fronted Dancer

Dancers flight patterns are not straight-lined; this pond damsel appears to dance, or bounce, along its way. Damselflies are are smaller than Dragonflies, but they can just as colorful.

The Blue-fronted Dancer is typically found near water (ponds, streams, creeks, riverbanks). They rest on low shrubs, branches, tall grasses and logs. They are active all through summer.

Males defend territories against males of any damselfly species. They have bright blue eyes and a matching blue on their thorax and at the tip of their tail. Females may have more brown on their head and eyes, but still retain some shade of blue on their heads. The Blue-fronted Damselfly is a member of the Narrow-winged Damselflies. Their wings are very thin where they meet the body. When resting, they fold their wings above their body.

Females lay their eggs on floating objects in water. The majority of the life cycle is spent in the water as a naiad, breathing the dissolved oxygen from the water through gills found at the tip of their abdomen (tail). Once they mature, they will shed their juvenile 'skin' and emerge as flying adults.

Naiads are terrific aquatic predators with huge appetites, eating insects, worms and even small fish. Their extendable lower lip allows them a long reach. Quick expansion and a set of teeth secure their prey. Because of its appetite for insects, Blue-fronted Damselflies are beneficial to a riparian ecosystem, keeping populations of smaller insects in balance.

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Category: Dragonfly or Damselfly
Common name: Blue-fronted Dancer
Scientific Name: Argia apicalis

  Kingdom: Animalia
   Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
     Order: Odonata
      Family: Coenagrionidae
       Genus: Argia
        Species: apicalis

Adult Size (Length): 33mm to 40mm (1.30in to 1.57in)

Identifying Colors: blue; black; brown; gray; red

Additional Descriptors: bright blue, flying, helpful, skinny

North American Reach (Though Not Limited To*): Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Delaware, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio, Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota, South Dakota, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas, Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska

* Keep in mind that insect reach is not governed by lines on a map and therefore may appear in areas/regions/states beyond those listed above.