Eastern Red Damsel. The bright red color is unique among damselflies in our area. (Or at least it was until 2021! Watch out for the similarly red-colored Duckweed Firetail, first documented in Ohio in Cincinnati in 2021.) 

Violet Dancer. This is one of my favorite damselflies because it comes in my favorite color: purple! 

Orange Bluet. This is another colorful and widespread damselfly.

Eastern Red Damsels are a localized species, found in good quality wetland habitats. There are healthy populations at Cedar Bog, Siebenthaler Fen, Fairborn Marsh, and some of the other Beaver Creek Wetlands parks. They fly from May through July.

Violet Dancers are fairly common and widespread. I find them at a number of locations and habitats from late May through early September.

This is a mated pair of Orange Bluets. The female (below) is yellowish in color.

This is a young female Orange Bluet, so she is blue instead of orange or yellow. (Confused yet?) Orange Bluets have a long flight period, from May through late October (weather permitting). 

Orange Bluets have orange abdomen tips, a feature which distinguishes them from the orange form of the Eastern Forktail (the latter has a black abdomen tip). 

Violet Dancers are a subspecies of the Variable Dancer, and their bright purple color is unique among damselflies in our area.

This is a young Eastern Red Damsel, photographed at Fairborn Marsh on May 15, 2018. 

This is a male Orange Bluet. I found him on May 13th. This is a recently emerged male, so he has not yet developed the orange color of mature males. (I told you Orange Bluets were confusing!)