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

Coenagrion interrogatum
Subarctic Bluet
Family: Coenagrionidae
Species account author: Robert Cannings.
Extracted from Introducing the Dragonflies of British Columbia and the Yukon (2002)

Photo of species

© George Doerksen  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #1001)

E-Fauna BC Static Map
Distribution of Coenagrion interrogatum in British Columbia
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Species Information


The thorax has strong dark marks underneath; blue stripes on top are divided like a thick exclamation mark; abdominal segment 2 has a black mark on top and a large mark on each side; appendages shown in figure. Female is blue or greenish, marked with black; abdominal segment 8 is black at the base, segments 9 and 10 are mostly blue, and 9 has a black spot on top. Length: ♂ 30 mm, ♀ 31 mm.

Flight Period

B.C., late May to late August; Yukon, late May to early August (uncommon after mid July).

Genus Description

There are two genera of bluets: Coenagrion and Enallagma. Coenagrion live mainly in Europe and Asia. Two species range across most of northern North America: the common Taiga Bluet and the rarer Subarctic Bluet. A third, the Prairie Bluet, flies on the Great Plains. Most Eurasian Bluet adults fly in late spring or early summer. They are similar to those of Enallagma - males are blue and black (but often green below); but the structure of the male appendages is different and females have no vulvar spine.


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

The most boreal of North American damselflies, this species lives in a variety of wetlands, although it is common only in those containing floating aquatic moss. In southern B.C. it occurs only in subalpine wetlands in the mountains and high plateaus.


Northern. In our region, widespread east of the Coast Mountains from the Arctic treeline to the U.S. border.

Status Information

Origin StatusProvincial StatusBC List
(Red Blue List)
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) 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: 2024-05-25 7:46:16 PM]
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