Saturday, March 24, 2018

Blue-Tipped Dancer Damselfly Habitats: Blue or Pale Tip, Dark Abdomen


Summary: North American blue-tipped dancer damselfly habitats from eastern Canada and the United States to the Great Plains get blue tips and dark abdomens.


male blue-tipped dancer damselfly (Argia tibialis); Lake Lotus Nature Park, Altamonte Springs, Seminole County, east central Florida; April 27, 2013: Judy Gallagher, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

North American blue-tipped dancer damselfly habitats appose cultivators along water and naturalists within Atlantic and Gulf distribution ranges from New York through Texas and westward through Ontario, Minnesota, Nebraska, Kansas and Oklahoma.
Blue-tipped dancers bear their common name for blue abdominal tips and for bouncy flight and the scientific name Argia tibialis (damselfly [whose] tibia [is not flattened]). Common names champion the scientific committee consensus of the Dragonfly Society of the Americas, whose paid membership comprises institutional and regular, New and Old World categories. Scientific designations develop descriptions in 1902 by Philip Powell Calvert (Jan. 29, 1871-Aug. 23, 1961), odonate specialist from Philadelphia and professor at the University of Pennsylvania.
Blue-topped dancer damselfly life cycles expect clean or degraded forested or urban, moderate- or slow-flowing wooded lakes, ponds, rivers, sloughs and streams with or without riffles.

March through October function as maximum, most southerly flight seasons even though June through July furnish wildlife mapping opportunities for all coastal through Great Plains niches.
Males only get territorial with other species when they go to 3-foot (0.91-meter) spaced perches on dark, open ground or on shaded aquatic or waterside vegetation. Females hasten to sunlit perches on open ground or, like males, on woodland vegetation whereas males also hover, like powdered dancers on light-colored rocks, over blackwater. Black, pale-striped, spurred legs and projectable, retractable lower lips immobilize low-flying or low-lying, opportunistic passersby during hunting sallies from perches or stalked prey during search-and-seize flights.
Ants, biting midges, ducks, falcons, fish, flycatchers, frogs, grebes, lizards, robber flies, spiders, turtles and water beetles and mites jeopardize North American blue-tipped dancer damselfly habitats.

Immature female and male blue-tipped dancers keep dull, faded, light, pale colors and low size ranges even though adult females know blue, brown and green forms.
Incomplete metamorphosis leads from egg-laying in eelgrass, emergent aquatic vegetation, floating debris, spring-dampened clay or wet wood to larval, naiad or nymph, non-flying, small adult lookalikes. Female and male blue-tipped dancer damselflies manage eight-plus- and 11-plus-day lifespans after maturing sexually, 19- to 35-minute tandem ovipositing (egg-laying) site-searching and 38- to 56-minute ovipositing. Dancer members of the Coenagrionidae pond damsel family need aphids, beetles, borers, caddisflies, copepods, crane flies, dobsonflies, gnats, leafhoppers, mosquitoes, rotifers, scuds, water fleas and worms.
North American blue-tipped dancer damselfly habitats offer season-coldest temperature ranges, northward to southward, from minus 30 to 35 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 34.44 to 1.66 degrees Celsius).

Beech, bellflower, birch, bladderwort, cattail, daisy, grass, greenbrier, heath, laurel, madder, maple, nettle, olive, pepperbush, pine, pondweed, rush, sedge, water-lily and willow families promote blue-tipped dancers.
Black abdomens and midline and shoulder stripes, blue, brown or green abdominal tips, thoraxes and wing-base area triangles and green-gray or tan-brown eyes quicken female identifications. Males reveal blue-brown-tan eyes, blue-tipped, pale-ringed black abdomens, dark-striped, white-sided thoracic fronts reddening during low temperatures and mating, pale-striped black legs and violet wing-base area triangles.
Adults show off 1.18- to 1.49-inch (30- to 38-millimeter) head-body lengths, 0.91- to 1.18-inch (23- to 30-millimeter) abdomens and 0.71- to 0.94-inch (18- to 24-millimeter) hindwings.
Black abdomens and pale-bottomed, pale-sided thoraxes versus black-segmented, blue-tipped abdomens respectively tell females and males from other dancers in overlapping North American blue-tipped dancer damselfly habitats.

blue-tipped dancer damselfly (Argia tibialis) (left) and American rubyspot damselfly (Hetaerina americana) (right); Patuxent National Wildlife Refuge, near Laurel, southern Maryland; June 10, 2012: Judy Gallagher, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Acknowledgment
My special thanks to talented artists and photographers/concerned organizations who make their fine images available on the internet.

Image credits:
male blue-tipped dancer damselfly (Argia tibialis); Lake Lotus Nature Park, Altamonte Springs, Seminole County, east central Florida; April 27, 2013: Judy Gallagher, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons@ https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Blue-tipped_Dancer_(male)_-_Argia_tibialis,_Lake_Lotus_Park,_Altamonte_Springs,_Florida.jpg
blue-tipped dancer damselfly (Argia tibialis) (left) and American rubyspot damselfly (Hetaerina americana) (right); Patuxent National Wildlife Refuge, near Laurel, southern Maryland; June 10, 2012: Judy Gallagher, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons @ https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:American_Rubyspot_and_Blue-tipped_Dancer,_Patuxent_National_Wildlife_Refuge,_Laurel,_Maryland.jpg

For further information:
Abbott, John C. Dragonflies and Damselflies of Texas and the South-Central United States: Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma and New Mexico. Princeton NJ; Oxford UK: Princeton University Press, 2005.
"Argia tibialis." James Cook University-Medusa: The Odonata - Dragonflies and Damselflies > Zygoptera > Coenigrionidae > Argia.
Available via James Cook University-Medusa @ https://medusa.jcu.edu.au/Dragonflies/openset/displaySpecies.php?spid=3492
Beaton, Giff. Dragonflies & Damselflies of Georgia and the Southeast. Athens GA; London UK: University of Georgia Press, 2007.
Berger, Cynthia. Dragonflies. Mechanicsburg PA: Stackpole Books: Wild Guide, 2004.
Bright, Ethan. "Argia tibialis." Aquatic Insects of Michigan > Odonata (Dragon- and Damselflies) of Michigan > Zygoptera, Selys, 1854 > Coenagrionidae, Kirby, 1890 (Pond Damselflies) > Argia, Rambur, 1842 (Dancers).
Available @ http://www.aquaticinsects.org/sp/Odonata/sp_oom.html
Paulson, Dennis. Dragonflies and Damselflies of the East. Princeton NJ: Princeton University Press, Princeton Field Guides, 2011.
Rambur, M. P. (Jules Pierre). "3. Platycnemis tibialis, mihi." Histoire Naturelle des Insectes: Névroptères: 241. Paris, France: Librairie Encyclopédique de Roret, 1842.
Available via HathiTrust @ https://hdl.handle.net/2027/mdp.39015058433833?urlappend=%3Bseq=273
Available via Internet Archive @ https://archive.org/stream/histoirenaturel53buffgoog#page/n278/mode/1up


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