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Blue Dasher (Pachydiplax longipennis)


Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Blue Dasher.

 Updated: 2/8/2018; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©www.InsectIdentification.org




The fast and bright Blue Dasher is one of the most commonly sighted and enjoyed dragonflies in all of North America.



Blue Dashers are one of the most abundant dragonflies in the U.S. and can be found near slow moving water sources, marshes and ponds. Adults have four wings with two noticeable dark streaks in them. Adult males have a chalky, blue color from head to abdomen that ends with a black tip. Their heads contain their large eyes which take on a metallic sheen in certain lighting. The female coloring differs from the male. Her abdomen is black with yellow stripes along the sides and top. Her wings do not contain the aforementioned streaks and their abdomens are stubbier. The thorax has yellowish-green striping not seen on adult males. Juvenile Blue Dashers are not blue yet. They have green and yellow stripes on the thorax and yellow dashes along the side of the abdomen, much like adult females.

Males are often seen around water's edge, protecting their territory from other males. They will flash their blue abdomens as a warning to each other. Females usually perch on vegetation and only approach the water when they are ready to mate. Both genders stick their abdomens upright in the air when perched, as if on alert, and they snap their wings closed after settling down. Like other dragonflies, the ecologically beneficial Blue Dasher contributes to pest control by consuming hundreds of smaller insects each day.




Taxonomic Hierarchy
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Odonata
        Family: Libellulidae
          Genus: Pachydiplax
            Species: longipennis
Identifying Information
Scientific Name: Pachydiplax longipennis
Other Name(s): Blue Pirate
Category: Dragonfly or Damselfly
Size (Adult; Length): 26mm to 45mm (1.01in to 1.76in)
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: blue; black; yellow; green
Descriptors: chalky, powdery, tiger, helpful, flying, stripes, fast
Territorial Map
Alaska  
Hawaii  
Prince Edward Is.  
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Territorial Reach (A-to-Z)
Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delware
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming
Canadian National Flag Graphic
Alberta
British Columbia
Manitoba
New Brunswick
Newfoundland and Labrador
Nova Scotia
Ontario
Prince Edward Island
Quebec
Saskatchewan
Mexican National Flag Graphic
Mexico
Note: An insect's reach is not limited by lines drawn on a map and therefore species may appear in areas, regions and/or states beyond those listed above as they are driven by environmental factors (such as climate change), available food supplies and mating patterns. Grayed-out selections indicate that the subject in question has not been reported in that particular territory. U.S. states and Canadian provinces / territories are clickable to their respective bug listings.