When I spotted the damselfly I immediately thought it was new to the Museum, that I hadn’t previously seen this species here in our Wetlands. But I had seen it before. When I checked my odonata checklist I realized that I had first seen this species on May 21, two years prior. It was an azure bluet.
Azure bluets are not uncommon. If you were to search for them in our wetlands or any other shallow pond in the state, you’d likely find one or two, perhaps many of them. You’d have to know what you were looking for though. I’ve seen 9 different species of damselfly in our Wetlands. Four of them were bluets. And, except for one of those, orange bluet, they were all black and blue (orange bluet is black and orange). Most of the blue on a bluet is restricted to the thorax and tip of the abdomen. It’s how much blue is present, and what shape it takes, which often determines the species. But that’s a subject for another day.
A few days after spotting the individual above, I saw a pair in tandem. This is the configuration the male and female assume just before and after mating. The male is attached to the female via appendages on the tip of his abdomen which grip the female just behind the head. They may even stay attached to one another while the female lays her eggs (oviposits).
By the way, I’ve counted 39 species of odonata (dragonflies and damselflies) on the museum’s campus.
Ranger, Greg Dodge