Dancers (Argia) Additional Odonata Information Damselfly Pictures Dragonfly Pictures Close to two dozen Argia damselfly species inhabit slow moving water areas in North America. While blue represents the predominant male body color, the half dozen species presented below highlight an even more colorful Argia world. A mostly blue thorax along with blue coloration for the final three abdominal segments, are the characteristic identifying tips for the male Blue-fronted Dancer (Argia apicalis), top picture. This is a common species in slow water areas east of the Rocky Mountains. Blue-ringed Dancers (Argia sedula) inhabit many different water areas, especially in the southern half of the United States. Because of their extended range, they can be found flying, or in many cases, perching in the sun near a water source, from April through October. The extra-blue eyes and top thoracic stripe (compared to the side thoracic stripes), along with the thin, light circles on the dark abdomen are useful field identification clues. The purple coloration of the male Emma's Dancer (Argia emma) makes it among the easiest Argia to identify. They are a fairly common species along rivers and streams of the Western United States. Look for them throughout the season, from April to October. Female body color ranges from tan to brown. Golden or amber wings make for easy identification of the Golden-winged Dancer (Argia rhoadsi). Finding one in the United States may prove to be a more difficult task than identifying one. They are a regional Argia species, with a range that extends from Northern Mexico to South Texas along the Lower Rio Grande Valley. Within their range, they are quite plentiful, and can be found near slow moving streams. Three different subspecies of Variable Dancers (Argia fumipennis) inhabit the Eastern United States: The Black Dancer of Florida (Argia fumipennis atra) The Smoky-winged Dancer of the Southeast (Argia fumipennis fumipennis) The Violet Dancer of most of the East (Argia fumipennis violacea) While body color can vary from subspecies to subspecies, most of the males are violet, with blue an alternative color. Most of the females have brown bodies. Wing color tends to get darker in the southern half of its range, with the darkest winged species, the Black Dancer, found almost exclusively in Florida. The top picture shows a species with a brownish body and almost black wings, making the tentative identification a female Black Dancer (Argia fumipennis atra). The Vivid Dancer (Argia vivida), the official state insect of Nevada, is also the most common Argia species along the West Coast. The name vivid describes the very blue color of the males, and the picture at the bottom of the page provides a body long view of a male. The top picture shows a close up view of a female that highlights the triangular pattern on the side of the abdomen. It's the best field identification clue for the species and is also present on males. Vivid Dancers can be found in forested areas near streams or rivers. © 2011. Patricia A. Michaels.