Creature Feature: Stream Bluet (Enallagma exsulans)
By Emma Dean, CG Science Editor
If, like most OU students, you’ve lazily floated down the Hocking River or taken a break from swimming to grill out along the water’s edge at Stroud’s, you’ve probably noticed one or two bright blue dragonflies zipping close to the surface of the water. These insects known as Stream bluets thrive in habitats which include medium to large rivers with a moderate current preferably bordered by forest and woodland. The dragonflies also can be found around lakes and ponds.
The vibrant blue belongs to the male who also has a black body and abdomen while the female Stream bluet’s body is also green or a yellow-green in addition to the blue. Mating is somewhat acrobatic and occurs during flight with an odd wheel position. Eggs are then laid either close or in the water.
Flight season for the Stream bluet is during the summer, between early June and late August. The population is stable which has resulted in a plentiful and widespread species. The area in which they cover includes the eastern to central United States as well as southeast Canada.
- The dragonflies cannot fold their wings flat against their body. Instead, the males hold them straight out to the sides while the danselflies hold their wings vertically toward the rear.
- Stream bluets can be found in four Canadian provinces and 34 states in the U.S.
- Mating occurs as the pair remains in flight.
- Post-mating, the eggs are directly laid into or near water.