Common NameTaiga bluet
SeasonalityAdults fly late-May to mid-August depending on the location.
IdentificationThe taiga bluet has pale blue to almost turquoise colouration (Westfall and May 1996). It is similar in size and proportions to the subarctic bluet (C. interrogatum) but has different colour patterns and markings (Walker 1953). Males do not have a black mark on the underside of the thorax like that which is found on the subarctic bluet (Westfall and May 1996). On each side of the top of the thorax are narrow blue stripes (appear to be on their shoulders) that are sometimes broken and resemble an exclamation mark. These shoulder strips are narrower than the black strips below and come to point above the dot in the exclamation mark (Westfall and May 1996). Abdominal segments are mostly pale blue on top and yellowish-green on bottom with distinctive markings: segments 1 and 2 have narrow dark rings; segment 2 has a black U-shape on top with arms of the U on each side of the segment; segments 3 and 4 segments are blue at the end; half of segment 5 and segments 6 and 7 form one large black ring; segments 8 and 9 are blue and the terminal segment is black (Walker 1953, Cannings 2002, Acorn 2004). Female taiga bluets can be coloured like the males or yellow-green to brownish (Walker 1953). Females do not have a black mark on the underside of the thorax. Most of the abdomen is dark with pale rings, some in the mid-abdomen are interrupted, more prominent on the terminal segments (Walker 1953, Westfall and May 1996, Acorn 2004). ). Taiga bluets are small to medium damselflies that can be just over 3 cm in length.
Larvae of the taiga bluet are difficult to distinguish from the other Eurasian bluets (C. angulatum and C. interrogatum) or even American bluets (genus Enallagma) or forktails (genus Ischnura).
The taiga bluet has no obvious characters that allows for identification in the field; two published keys use very finely detailed characters (Baker and Clifford 1980, Canning and Canning 1980). Coenagrion larvae are of average stature with the posterior margin of the head rounded and eyes not very prominent (Walker 1953).