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Blue-fronted Dancer (Argia apicalis)

Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Blue-fronted Dancer

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Image Credit: Dave and Glenda E., taken at Fin and Feather Lake near Mason City, IA
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Image Credit: Arch Baker
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The slender Blue-fronted Dancer is a Damselfly that flits, flutters, and bounces as it flies making it a natural choreographer.

Updated: 08/02/2022; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
Dancers' flight patterns are not straight-lined. This pond damsel appears to dance and bounce along its way. Damselflies are smaller than Dragonflies, but they can be just as colorful. Males have light blue eyes and a blue thorax. The long, thin abdomen ('tail') is dark brown with blue along the side near the body. A bulge at the tip is also blue. Females have a blue form, but also a brown one. Their eyes are not blue and the bulge at the tip of the abdomen is brown. As a member of the Narrow-winged Damselflies family, their wings are very thin where they meet the body. When resting, they fold their wings above their body.

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 other damselfly species. Females lay their eggs on floating objects in water. The majority of the life cycle is spent in the water as a naiad (juvenile form), breathing the dissolved oxygen from the water through gills found at the tip of their abdomen. 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. Once they mature, naiads shed their exoskeleton on land and emerge as flying adults.©InsectIdentification.org

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General Characteristics

Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
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Taxonomic Hierarchy

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

Identifying Information

Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Argia apicalis
Category: Dragonfly or Damselfly
Size (Adult; Length): 33mm to 40mm (1.29" to 1.57")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: blue; black; brown; gray; red
Descriptors: bright; blue; flying; helpful; skinny

Relative Size Comparison

Typical Size Between 33mm (1.3in) and 40mm (1.6in)
Lo: 33mm
Md: 36.5mm
Hi: 40mm

Territorial Map*

U.S., Canada, and Mexico
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Prince Edward Is.  
* MAP NOTES: The territorial heat map above showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Blue-fronted Dancer may be found (but is not limited to). This sort of data is useful when attempting to see concentrations of particular species across the continent as well as revealing possible migratory patterns over a species' given lifespan. Some insects are naturally confined by environment, weather, mating habits, food resources and the like while others see widespread expansion across most, or all, of North America. States/Territories shown above are a general indicator of areas inhabited by the Blue-fronted Dancer. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.
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