Nebraska Dragonflies and Damselflies

Rainbow Bluet

Enallagma antennatum

Say, 1839

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The tiny Rainbow Bluet is one of the most distinctive of the Pond Damsels. Its eyes and face are orange, its thorax has narrow yellow and wide black shoulder stripes, the sides of its thorax are green, its abdomen is black dorsally and green ventrally, and abdominal segment 9 is entirely blue. The female has some of the male's colors but is paler all over.

This common Bluet is an eastern species extending west to western Nebraska and eastern Wyoming. It is widespread in the eastern two-thirds of the state but spotty in the Panhandle. It seems equally likely at ponds or small, clear streams, and even irrigation ditches.

Rainbow Bluet
Rainbow Bluet male. Photo courtesy of Terry Hibbitts.

Size: 27-33 mm (1.1-1.3 in)

Habitat: slow streams and lakes near stream inlets or outlets

Great Plains Range: KS, NE, SD, ND, CO, WY, MT, IA, MN

Flight season: mid May to late July

Rainbow Bluet map

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

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