A Damsel, But No Distress

Powdered dancer  ~ Argia moesta
(Click image for more detail)


This delicate damselfly — a female — greeted me along the River Road between Kerrville and Center point last June after I stopped to photograph a few skeleton plants that had caught my eye.

In this case, color provided an easy key to identification. Powdered dancer males show a whitish head and thorax, but females are much more colorful: sometimes a greenish-brown, and sometimes this lovely blue.

A key to distinguishing females of this species from the blue-fronted dancer also is color: female powdered dancers exhibit lighter coloration atop their abdomens, rather than black. In addition, female powdered dancers have two cells below the stigma (the small, colored area on the wing), while a blue-fronted dancer has only one.

I remember this day as sunny, but it must have been warm, as well, since an interesting feature of this species is that blue forms become gray when temperatures are cool.


Comments always are welcome.