Common NameSubarctic bluet
SeasonalityAdults fly late May to late July depending on latitude.
IdentificationThe subarctic bluet is similar in size and proportions to the taiga bluet (C. resolutum) but has different colour patterns and markings (Walker 1953). Males have a black mark on the underside of the thorax in the shape of a Y while the taiga bluet has no markings (Westfall and May 1996). On each side of the top of the thorax are wide, broken blue strips (appear to be on their shoulders) that are wider than the black strips below (Walker 1953, Acorn 2004). Female subarctic bluets also have black markings on the underside of the thorax (Westfall and May 1996) Abdominal segments 3 to 7 have dark streaks on the underside and blue or greenish rings, segments 8 and 9 have blue or greenish areas on the dorsal surface (Walker 1953, Acorn 2004). Subarctic bluets are small damselflies, rarely exceeding 3 cm in length.
Larvae of the subarctic bluet are difficult to distinguish from the other Eurasian bluets (C. angulatum and C. resolutum) or even American bluets (genus Enallagma) or forktails (genus Ischnura). The subarctic 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).