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Familiar Bluet (Enallagma civile)


Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Familiar Bluet



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Image Credit: Peter S., taken in Brewster, MA
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Image Credit: Judy Gallagher [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)]
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Image Credit: Peter S., taken in Brewster, MA
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Image Credit: Peter S., taken in Brewster, MA
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The Familiar Bluet is a common damselfly with flexibility when choosing a habitat: where there is water, there they will be.



Updated: 11/06/2020; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
The Familiar Bluet is one of the brightest of blue damselflies. This makes them easy to spot as they quickly dart from plant to plant, looking for smaller insects to eat. Males have blue around their eyes which matches the blue on the thorax. A thick black line runs down the middle of the thorax and it is flanked by two thinner lines. The long, slender abdomen is mostly blue also with dashes of black near the end of each segment. Females have similar body shape and markings, but the blue is replaced with light brown coloring. A female lays fertilized eggs just under the water's surface while the blue male watches over her. Eggs hatch and the naiads (larvae) live underwater, feeding on aquatic plants and debris until they molt enough times to warrant crawling on land. Naiads start out looking more like mini-crayfish or crawdads than damselflies. After more molting, they are winged and head out to feed and reproduce.

Because Familiar Bluets spend part of their life under water, a nearby water source is essential in order to sustain a population. They are not picky about home sites. Familiar Bluets can live near ponds, lakes, creeks, streams, marshes, swamps and even puddles. It doesn't matter if they are muddy puddles that are newly formed after a good rain. Familiar Bluets will take advantage of a new wet habitat. Adults are most active from late spring all the way through autumn.




General Characteristics
Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
Fast insect icon
Flying insect icon




Taxonomic Hierarchy
Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Odonata
        Family: Coenagrionidae
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          Genus: Enallagma
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            Species: civile
Identifying Information
Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Enallagma civile
Category: Dragonfly or Damselfly
Size (Adult; Length): 34mm to 44mm (1.33" to 1.73")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: blue, black, brown
Descriptors: flying, damselfly, dragonfly, skinny, fast, bright, light, ponds
Relative Size Comparison
Typical Size Between 34mm (1.3in) and 44mm (1.7in)
Lo: 34mm
Md: 39mm
Hi: 44mm
Territorial Map*
U.S., Canada, and Mexico
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Territory map graphic of the country of Mexico
Contiguous United States shape map layer graphic
Alaska  
Hawaii  
Prince Edward Is.  
* MAP NOTES: The territorial heat map above showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Familiar Bluet 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 Familiar Bluet. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.

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