BLUE-RINGED AND BLUE-FRONTED Dancers
Male Blue-ringed Dancer. The stripes on the thorax are a deep, royal blue, and the rings along the abdomen and tip are a lighter shade of blue.
Blue-ringed Dancers are a fairly common species. They fly from June through September (with stragglers into October, weather permitting).
Male Blue-fronted Dancer. The thorax is nearly solid blue except for a few thin black stripes.
Female Blue-fronted Dancer. Several brown female damselflies are difficult to distinguish from one another. I usually don't attempt to identify brown females and teneral damselflies to species.
Female Blue-ringed Dancer at Siebenthaler Fen. You can see just a hint of blue rings on the mostly brown abdomen.
Another male Blue-fronted Dancer. This is a common and widespread species, which usually flies from late May through September. However, I have one notably late sighting: October 29, 2016 at Spring Lakes Park. (The weather was an unseasonable 81 degrees that day.)
Believe it or not, this is a Blue-fronted Dancer--even though the thorax isn't blue. These damselflies can change colors in response to cold temperatures, or while mating. I photographed the individual at left on an unusually cold summer day (when we just had a major cold front come through). This damselfly might have changed colors due to the cold weather.
This Blue-ringed Dancer was hanging out in curly grass at Spring Lakes Park in Bellbrook. Until 2018, Blue-ringed Dancers were not considered to have any close look-alikes in our area. In 2018, it was discovered that we have Paiute Dancers in Ohio. (See my page on Paiute Dancers for tips on how to distinguish them.)