E-Fauna BC: Electronic Atlas of the Wildlife of British Columbia

Nehalennia irene
Sedge Sprite
Family: Coenagrionidae
Species account author: Robert Cannings.
Extracted from Introducing the Dragonflies of British Columbia and the Yukon (2002)

© George Doerksen  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #1020)

Click on map to view a larger version of this map.
Distribution of Nehalennia irene in British Columbia.
(Click on the map to view a larger version.)
Source: (for the static map) RBCM and BCCDC 2004 ©
Details about map content are available here.

Species Information


Description

The smallest and most delicate damselfly in B.C. The abdomen is dark with a blue tip; the top of the thorax is metallic green. Length: ♂ 26 mm, ♀ 27 mm.


Flight Period

B.C., early May to mid September (mostly in late spring and early summer).

Genus Description


Small and delicate damselflies; five species live in the Americas and just one in Eurasia. The two Canadian species, unlike any others in the pond damsel family, are completely metallic green on top of the thorax; they also lack the pale spots behind the eyes that are common in many other members of the family.

Biology

Family Description

Small damselflies that normally perch with wings closed above the abdomen. Most males are blue marked with black, but the main colour may be green, yellow, orange, red or purple. Females often have two colour forms per species, one similar to the male (usually blue). Females lay eggs in the tissues of water plants, sometimes completely submerging themselves for a long time while laying. Larave are not as long as spreadwing larave and have short labia, unstalked at the base. There are six genera and 18 species of pond damsels in our region. The American Bluets (Enallagma) and forktails (Ischnura) are the most common groups.
Field Notes

Inconspicuous but common in suitable habitat; flies weakly in dense grasses and sedges. Most abundant in sedge meadows and lakes bordered by sedges. While laying eggs in floating plants, the female perches horizontally and the male, clasping her thorax with the tip of his abdomen, holds himself stiffly at a 45° angle.

Distribution


Northern. Widespread in B.C.'s interior; on the coast, recorded rarely on Vancouver Island.

Status Information

Origin StatusProvincial StatusBC List
(Red Blue List)
COSEWIC
NativeS5YellowNot Listed
BC Ministry of Environment: BC Species and Ecosystems Explorer--the authoritative source for conservation information in British Columbia.

Additional Photo Sources

General References


Recommended citation: Author, Date. Page title. In Klinkenberg, Brian. (Editor) 2019. E-Fauna BC: Electronic Atlas of the Fauna of British Columbia [efauna.bc.ca]. Lab for Advanced Spatial Analysis, Department of Geography, University of British Columbia, Vancouver. [Accessed: 18/11/2019 6:26:32 AM]
Disclaimer: The information contained in an E-Fauna BC atlas pages is derived from expert sources as cited (with permission) in each section. This information is scientifically based.  E-Fauna BC also acts as a portal to other sites via deep links.  As always, users should refer to the original sources for complete information.  E-Fauna BC is not responsible for the accuracy or completeness of the original information.


© E-Fauna BC: An initiative of the Spatial Data Lab, Department of Geography, UBC