Nebraska Dragonflies and Damselflies

Variable Dancer

Argia fumipennis

Hagen, 1861

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There are three subspecies of the Variable Dancer. The most widely distributed, and the one present in Nebraska, is Argia fumipennis violacea, sometimes called Violet Dancer. Males are violet on the head, top of the thorax and abdomen. The top of abdominal segments 8-10 are blue. Females are brown. Both sexes have wide black stripes on the top of the thorax and clear wings. <

Fairly common. The Nebraska/Wyoming line is near the western limit and Nebraska is at the northern limit of the range for this eastern species. Although widespread in the state, it is rare in counties along the eastern edge of the state and more common in the southern and northern border counties than in the center of the state. It seems equally at home on ponds, streams and rivers where it will be found in the edge vegetation or even resting on the sandy or muddy banks.

Variable Dancer
Variable Dancer

Size: 33-39 mm (1.1-1.3 in)

Habitat: shallow streams, ponds and bogs

Great Plains Range: TX, OK, KS, NE, SD, NM, CO, WY, MT, MO, IA

Flight season: late June to mid August

Variable Dancer map

Green indicates accepted county record (specimen or photograph).
Yellow indicates sight record only.

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