Blue dasher

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Blue Dasher
Pachydiplax longipennis Blue Dasher 1500px.jpg
Male with raised abdomen that may be a threat display or a response to heat (the obelisk posture)
Dragonfly ran-177.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Odonata
Suborder: Anisoptera
Family: Libellulidae
Genus: Pachydiplax
Species: P. longipennis
Binomial name
Pachydiplax longipennis
(Burmeister, 1839)

The Blue dasher (Pachydiplax longipennis) is a dragonfly of the skimmer family. It is common and widely distributed in the United States.[1]

Male on a Lotus Leaf

Mature males develop a bluish-white pruinescence on the back of the abdomen and, in western individuals, on the thorax. They display this pruinescence to other males as a threat while defending territories at the edge of the water.[2]

Mature male with blue-white abdomen and thorax

Although the species name longipennis means "long wings", the wings are not substantially longer than those of related species. Females do, however, have a short abdomen that makes the wings appear longer in comparison.[1] The blue dasher grows up to 25-43mm long. Juvenile males will show female coloration before they turn blue. Females are paired with yellow stripes on the dorsal side of the first 8 abdominal segments, the part of the body that lies between the thorax and the pelvis and encloses the stomach, intestines, liver, spleen, and pancreas; more commonly known as the belly. Females are also reported to turn blue, but at a slower rate then the males.

Life cycle: as the Blue dasher ages, the wings will wear and tear. Females will lay eggs in the aquatic vegetation.

Range of the Blue dasher: They range mostly in the United States, but have been seen in Canada. They are absent from the Dakotas, and the Rocky Mountain region. Range will continues through Mexico.

Habitat: They are found by ponds, lakes, marshes, and bogs. They can also be found in almost aywhere when there is still water. Larvae are very tolerant of wetlands with poor water quality and low dissolved-oxygen levels.

Seasons: They are mostly a summer species.

Food: Primarily tiny flying insects.


  1. ^ a b Needham, James G.; Minter J. Westfall, Jr. and Michael L. May (2000). Dragonflies of North America (rev. ed.). Gainesville, FL: Scientific Publishers. pp. 762–763. ISBN 0-945417-94-2. 
  2. ^ Johnson, Clifford (1962). "A Study of Territoriality and Breeding Behavior in Pachydiplax longipennis Burmeister (Odonata:Libellulidae)". The Southwestern Naturalist (Southwestern Association of Naturalists) 7 (3/4): 191–197. doi:10.2307/3668841. JSTOR 3668841.