blue dasher

(Pachydiplax longipennis)

Conservation Status
blue dasher
  IUCN Red List

not listed

     
  NatureServe

N5 - Secure

SNR - Unranked

     
  Minnesota

not listed

     
           
           
 
Description
 
 

Blue dasher is a widespread, fairly common, small to medium-sized, 1 to 1¾ long skimmer.

The upper (dorsal) surface of the thorax is brown with greenish-yellow markings. There is a thin, pale, central (middorsal) stripe and two wider shoulder stripes. The sides of the thorax are greenish-yellow with three dark brown stripes.

The abdomen of the mature male is tapered and powdery blue (prunose) with a black tip. The female abdomen is much shorter, parallel-sided, and brownish-black. On abdominal segments 3 through 8 there is a pair of thin yellow dorsal stripes. Segment 9 is unmarked and segment 10 is pale.

The face is white. The top of the upper part of the face (frons) is metallic blue. The compound eyes meet along a long margin at the top of the head. They are blue or green in males, reddish-brown in females.

The wings are clear except for an amber patch at the base and a long dark stigma. They sometimes develop an uneven brownish-yellow tint. The forewings are slightly narrower than the hindwings.

Immature males have reddish-brown eyes and a brownish-black abdomen which becomes increasingly prunose as it matures. It usually takes about 9 days for the pruinescence to develop. Females sometimes develop pruinescence but much more slowly.

 
     
 

Size

 
 

Total Length: 1 to 1¾

 
     
 

Similar Species

 
  Eastern pondhawk (Erythemis simplicicollis) male develops pruinescence on the thorax as well as the abdomen. The face is green.  
     
 
Habitat
 
 

Lakes, ponds, slow streams, ditches, and possibly bogs

 
     
 
Biology
 
 

Season

 
 

Early June to early September

 
     
 

Behavior

 
 

They perch on erect, slender plant stems. When perched their wings are lowered. Males joust over water by flying under an opponent and rising, forcing the opponent away from the water surface.

 
     
 

Life Cycle

 
 

After mating the females deposits eggs by flying close to the water surface and dipping the tip of her abdomen into water. While doing this, the male hovers nearby, standing guard. After the eggs hatch the young (naiads) live in submerged vegetation. When they mature the adults emerge from the water at night.

 
     
 

Nymph Food

 
 

Aquatic insect larvae and freshwater shrimp

 
     
 

Adult Food

 
 

Mosquitoes, flies, butterflies, moths, mayflies, and other soft-bodied flying insects.

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

7, 18, 24, 27, 29.

 
  8/7/2019      
         
 

Occurrence

 
 

Fairly common

 
         
 
Taxonomy
 
 

Order

Odonata (dragonflies and damselflies)  
 

Suborder

Epiprocta  
  Infraorder Anisoptera (dragonflies)  
 

Superfamily

Cavilabiata  
 

Family

Libellulidae (skimmers)  
 

Genus

Pachydiplax  
       
 

Synonyms

 
 

 

 
       
 

Common Names

 
 

blue dasher

 
       

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Frons

The upper part of an insect’s face, roughly corresponding to the forehead.

 

Naiad

The aquatic larval form (nymph) of a dragonfly, mayfly, or stonefly.

 

Pruinescence

A waxy bloom that covers the underlying coloration and gives a dusty or frosty appearance.

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
Visitor Photos
 
           
 

Share your photo of this insect.

 
  This button not working for you?
Simply email us at info@MinnesotaSeasons.com.
Attach one or more photos and, if you like, a caption.
 
 

Alfredo Colon

 
    blue dasher   blue dasher  
           
    blue dasher   blue dasher  
           
    blue dasher   blue dasher  
 

Lynn Rubey

 
  An Adult Female Blue Dasher in the Obelisk position to cool off during the hot and humid summer day in The Big Stone National Wildlife Refuge.   blue dasher  
           
  An immature female Blue Dasher using the Obelisk position as well as her wings as a shield to reflect the sun's heat from her head and thorax in an effort to cool down as she is perched from a chewed off bush in The Big Stone National Wildlife Refuge. The refuge uses goats in a program to get rid of invasive plants and bring back and encourage native prairie plants to thrive.   blue dasher  
           
  An adult male Blue Dasher resting on a grass stalk between Pool 7 and the West Pool in The Big Stone National Wildlife Refuge.   blue dasher  
           
 
MinnesotaSeasons.com Photos
 
 

Male

 
    blue dasher   blue dasher  
           
    blue dasher   blue dasher  
           
    blue dasher      
           
 

Female

 
    blue dasher   blue dasher  
           
    blue dasher   blue dasher  
           
    blue dasher   blue dasher  
           

 

Camera

     
 
Slideshows
 
Blue Dasher
DianesDigitals
  Blue Dasher  
 
About

Copyright DianesDigitals

 
Pachydiplax longipennis (Blue Dasher)
Allen Chartier
  Pachydiplax longipennis (Blue Dasher)  
Blue Dasher
Victor Fazio
  Blue Dasher  
     

 

slideshow

       
 
Visitor Videos
 
       
 

Share your video of this insect.

 
  This button not working for you?
Simply email us at info@MinnesotaSeasons.com.
Attach a video, a YouTube link, or a cloud storage link.
 
 

 

 
     
     
       
       
       
 
Other Videos
 
  Blue Dasher (Pachydiplax longipennis) ~ Dragonfly Close Up
Wandering Sole Images
 
   
 
About

Published on Jun 26, 2015

A blue dasher (Pachydiplax longipennis) at Woodhaven Swamp in Belcarra Regional Park.

 
  dragonfly (Pachydiplax Longipennis)
Andrew Baita
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Aug 16, 2010

dragon fly shot with canon t1i with 100mm macro 2.8 lens

 
  Blue Dasher - August 4, 2013
Don Gagnon
 
   
 
About

Published on Aug 5, 2013

Blue Dasher (Pachydiplax longipennis), Water Garden, Gagnon Wildlife Habitat, Pottersville, Somerset, Massachusetts, Sunday morning, August 4, 2013, 11:48 AM / 11:50 AM / 11:53 AM / 11:57 AM - Canon PowerShot SX50 HS MVI_38829 / MVI_38830 / MVI_38847 / MVI_38848; 3:33 min.

 
  Soul Mate (Blue Dasher)
seahue
 
   
 
About

Published on Jul 21, 2010

Blue Dasher dragonfly. This is the only dragonfly that lets me get really close.

The Blue Dasher (Pachydiplax longipennis) is a dragonfly of the skimmer family.

As do all dragonflies, they have excellent vision because of their large multi-faceted eyes.

They sometimes orient themselves in different positions relative to the sun, either to maximize or minimize heat gain, depending on temperature. They tip the abdomen upward in what is called the "obelisk" position.As they age, their wings are tattered from wear and tear.

Music MIX from CCMixter

Please remove your headphones I miss you...byy dydjej_inja

http://ccmixter.org/files/dydjej_inja/25648

 
  Female Blue Dasher Dragonfly, Pachydiplax longipennis, San Diego, California
Melvin Wei
 
   
 
About

Published on Jun 26, 2012

I saw this dragonfly in the riparian habitat of Los Penasquitos Canyon Preserve. This is one of the more common dragonflies I've seen in San Diego county, although they generally dart around so fast I can't see the level of detail that I can with my camera at 14x optical zoom. It's not as conspicuous as the male flame skimmer dragonfly I posted a video of before, but the blue dasher is beautiful in its own right when you look at it for a few minutes up close. It took me a long time to identify this as a female blue dasher dragonfly (Pachydiplax longipennis), but based on the photos on various peoples' pages online it seems like the phenotypes can vary quite a bit for at least this species.

One thing I noticed about dragonflies is that they keep returning to the same perch to survey their territory. They don't do things in a randomized fashion. I knew that male dragonflies were territorial, but perhaps females have the same concepts in their heads regarding to hunting rights and territory.

I have a video of a male blue dasher dragonfly too, dated 2012-9-11.

 
       

 

Camcorder

 
 
Visitor Sightings
 
           
 

Report a sighting of this insect.

 
  This button not working for you?
Simply email us at info@MinnesotaSeasons.com.
Be sure to include a location.
 
  Alfredo Colon
10/16/2019

Location: Woodbury, MN

blue dasher  
  Lynn Rubey
8/4/2019

Location: Big Stone National Wildlife Refuge

An immature female Blue Dasher using the Obelisk position as well as her wings as a shield to reflect the sun's heat from her head and thorax in an effort to cool down as she is perched from a chewed off bush in The Big Stone National Wildlife Refuge. The refuge uses goats in a program to get rid of invasive plants and bring back and encourage native prairie plants to thrive.

blue dasher  
           
 
MinnesotaSeasons.com Sightings
 
   

 

 

Binoculars


Last Updated:

About Us | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | © 2021 MinnesotaSeasons.com. All rights reserved.