Minnesota Dragonfly

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Blue Dasher

Pachydiplax longipennis

The blue dasher is a common skimmer that can often be seen perched near still bodies of water. The male has a white face, striped thorax and powder blue abdomen with a black tip. Females have red and blue eyes, striped thorax and striped abdomen.

Identification

Field Marks
  • Average adult size is approximately from 1.1 to 1.8 inches
  • White face with dark patch on top of the frons
  • Greenish-blue eyes
  • Yellow thorax with 2 broad brown shoulder stripes and 2 narrower brown mid stripes
  • Wings have amber and brown patches at the base
  • Abdominal segments 2 and 3 often still have some yellow showing on the underside
  • Abdomen is powder blue with pruinose, when mature, through segment 8
  • Segments 9 and 10 black
  • Terminal appendages black

Click on photos above for a close-up view.

Field Marks
  • White face with dark patch on top of the frons with red over green eyes
  • Yellow thorax with 2 broad brown shoulder stripes and 2 narrower brown mid stripes
  • Yellow abdomen with 3 black stripes running down the top broken by a black line separating each segment, segment 9 and 10 black, tip is pale
  • Ovipositor is tube type

Click on photos above for a close-up view.

Natural History

Behavior

Blue Dashers spend most of their time perched. They usually perch vertically from grasses or branches of bushes, next to the ground, to twigs high up in the tree tops. Males defend territories from a perch and will usually drive away most blue pruinose colored dragonflies. Male and female Blue Dashers will also defend small hunting territories

Habitat

Still water with a lot of vegetation, such as ponds, lake shores, marshes, ditches, and slow moving streams

Reproduction

Females lay eggs by tapping their abdomen in waters with a lot of aquatic vegetation, sometimes laying 300- 700 eggs in 35 seconds. Males guard either perched or hovering near the female

Range Maps

Click on the icons above for this species' range maps

Click here for county and state checklists from Odonata Central.

Range maps and checklists courtesy of Odonata Central. Copyright © 2016 OdonataCentral. All Rights Reserved. Abbott, J.C. 2006-2018. OdonataCentral: An online resource for the distribution and identification of Odonata. Available at www.odonatacentral.org.