Argia tibialis

Blue-Tipped Dancer

Family: Coenagrionidae

Length: 30-37 mm


The Blue-Tipped Dancer prefers to live along swift mountain streams, but it is occasionally found in other habitats including ponds, swamps, and the slow backwaters of rivers. It is present in most regions of West Virginia, but has not yet been reported from the northern panhandle nor from the counties along the southern border with Virginia.

Mature males have the head and the dorsal surfaces of the thorax purple. Also present are black shoulder stripes and a black median stripe on the top of the thorax. The abdomen is a bronzy brown with segments 9 and 10 blue.

Females are brown (or occasionally with a blue and black thorax). Key things to look for in female Blue-tipped Dancers are a pale segment 10 of the abdomen, and an irregular pale triangle located in the black shoulder stripe on the thorax. Both these two traits are illustrated below.

Blue-tipped Dancer, Argia tibialis image, face

 Face of the male Blue-Tipped Dancer, Argia tibialis

Female Argia tibialis, head and thorax
Female Blue-Tipped Dancers have an irregular brown triangle resulting from a forking of the broad black shoulder stripe.


Argia tibialis, Blue-Tipped Dancer 

 A view of the face and upper thorax of the female Blue-Tipped Dancer.


Argia tibialis, tip of abdomen
On the female, the last abdominal segment (number 10) is pale.

Insects of West Virginia