Eastern Forktail & Fragile Forktail

Female Eastern Forktail. Young females have an orange heteromorph form.

Female Eastern Forktail. Older females are blue-gray with green eyes. This species flies throughout the year from April through October (my extreme early and late dates are April 14th and October 21st).

Another orange form Eastern Forktail. The black abdomen tip distinguishes this species from the Orange Bluet, which has an orange abdomen tip.

Male Eastern Forktail. This is a tiny little damselfly, but very abundant and widespread in our area. The thoracic stripes are green in males, and the tip of the abdomen is blue. 

Fragile Forktail. Notice that the green thoracic stripes are broken in the middle, making them resemble exclamation points.

Fragile Forktail. This is another very common species. Fragile Forktails have a long flight period; my extreme early and late dates are April 2nd and November 2nd. (The one I found on April 2nd is my earliest personal sighting of any damselfly species.) 

Alright, now it's time for some fun ones. The forktail at left has broken stripes but a blue abdomen tip. So that makes it ... an Eastern Forktail with broken stripes. Yes, Eastern Forktails occasionally have broken stripes like a Fragile Forktail (just to keep things confusing). However, a Fragile Forktail would never have a blue abdomen tip.  

The Eastern Forktail at left is even more unusual. This is an andromorph female (a female with male patterns). This is the only one I have ever found. Photographed at Spring Lakes Park in Bellbrook.  

Eastern Forktails are probably Ohio's most common species of damselfly.