Nebraska Dragonflies and Damselflies

Powdered Dancer

Argia moesta

Hagen, 1861

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The Powdered Dancer male, with its whitish head, thorax and abdominal segments 9 and 10, is our only mostly white damselfly. It is also our largest Dancer. The male has a wide, dark shoulder stripe. Females may be either brown or blue. The blue forms become gray at cool temperatures.

Fairly common. This is another eastern species with Nebraska near the northwest edge of its range. Although primarily a river species, it is found on streams in southeastern counties and on large reservoirs on the Republican River. Recent records from the Black Hills and Wyoming may reflect either a recent invasion or poor historic coverage. Most records are from the southern tiers of counties, but there are also records from the upper reaches of the Niobrara and Loup Rivers in Cherry, Grant and Hooker Counties, plus records in Dawes County on the White River. This is a large conspicuous species, but it has not been found on the lower stretches of the Niobrara and Loup Rivers. The absence on the North Platte River through the Panhandle also seems strange as Powdered Dancer is common on the tributaries in Wyoming not many miles west. This species shows a decided preference for riffle areas of streams and bare rock rip rap around bridge abutments and is often common where found.

Powdered Dancer
Powdered Dancer male

Size: 37-42 mm (1.5-1.7 in)

Habitat: rocky river banks and shores of lakes with rocky shores

Great Plains Range: TX, OK, KS, NE, NM, CO, MO, IA, MN

Flight season: early June to early September

Powdered Dancer map

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

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