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

Amphiagrion abbreviatum
Western Red Damsel
Family: Coenagrionidae
Species account author: Robert Cannings.
Extracted from Introducing the Dragonflies of British Columbia and the Yukon (2002)

Photo of species

© Robert A. Cannings  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #978)

E-Fauna BC Static Map
Distribution of Amphiagrion abbreviatum in British Columbia
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Species Information


Males are red, the thorax black on top. Females are all red or orange. Length: ♂ 26 mm, ♀ 27 mm.

Flight Period

B.C., early May to early October.

Genus Description

Restricted to North America; the only damselfly genus in B.C. whose adults are red in both sexes. Adults are robust, with stubby abdomens and short legs; they have a prominent tubercle on the underside of the thorax. In larvae, the hind corners of the head are pointed and turned outward. There are only two species, one eastern and one western.


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

Common in scattered localities at low and mid elevations, especially in southern valleys. Lives in marshy places with plenty of grasses and sedges: ponds, sloughs, spring-fed pools and slow streams. Adults fly close to the ground and perch frequently in low vegetation.


Western. In B.C., from the Prince George area south.

Status Information

Origin StatusProvincial StatusBC List
(Red Blue List)
NativeS4YellowNot 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) 2021. 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: 2022-08-13 8:46:35 PM]
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© E-Fauna BC 2021: An initiative of the Spatial Data Lab, Department of Geography, UBC