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Stream Bluet (Enallagma exsulans)

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

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Image Credit: Peter S., taken in Acton, MA
Full-sized image of the Stream-Bluet-Damselfly Thumbnail image of the Stream-Bluet-Damselfly
Image Credit: Peter S., taken in Acton, MA
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Small and agile Stream Bluets make the most of warm months far beyond areas with running water.

Updated: 09/21/2023; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
The Stream Bluet is a type of damselfly in the American Bluet family. Males have a mostly black abdomen. The last segment of the abdomen is completely blue in a mature male, and other segments have a narrow blue band near the joint. Females also have a blue tip at the end of the abdomen. The tubular thorax of both has diagonal lines of color and black. On males, the color is blue; for females, it may be orange, yellow, green, or a combination of theses colors. The area between the eyes of both the male and female also has blue in it. Females have a black abdomen, but the colors on it near the head are extensions of the yellow and green on the thorax. Both sexes have a small dark tile on the upper, outer part of each wing. Legs are pale yellow or blue with thin black lines in the center.

Like other damselflies, the Stream Bluet feeds on small, flying insects. It may be found with other Bluets, and despite its name, it does not restrict itself just to streams. Creeks, lakes, and other water sources are also places to find them. After mating, females go underwater to release fertilized eggs. They may also dab them onto aquatic plants at the water's surface. Flying adults are typically seen resting on foliage or zipping on by from late spring through early autumn.©InsectIdentification.org

Known Diet of the Stream-Bluet-Damselfly

tiny flying insects
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General Characteristics

Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
Fast insect icon
Segmented insect icon
Striped or banded 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: exsulans

Identifying Information

Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Enallagma exsulans
Category: Dragonfly or Damselfly
Size (Adult; Length): 29mm to 38mm (1.14" to 1.49")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: blue; green; black; yellow; orange
Descriptors: lined thorax; skinny; fast; blue segment; ninth

Relative Size Comparison

Typical Size Between 29mm (1.1in) and 38mm (1.5in)
Lo: 29mm
Md: 33.5mm
Hi: 38mm

Territorial Map*

U.S., Canada, and Mexico
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Contiguous United States shape map layer graphic
Prince Edward Is.  
* MAP NOTES: The territorial heat map above showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Stream 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 Stream Bluet. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.
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