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

Enallagma annexum
Northern Bluet
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 #5622)

E-Fauna BC Static Map
Distribution of Enallagma annexum in British Columbia
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Species Information


Male’s appendages shown in figure. The rear half of female’s segment 8 is usually black on top, the pointed end dividing a pale area at the base. Length: ♂ 33 mm, ♀ 32 mm.

Flight Period

B.C., early May to late October; Yukon, late May to early September.


The Eurasian and North American populations of Enallagma cyathigerum are now considered separete species. The Old World species remains E. cyathigerum; our North American one is now called E. annexum.

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 common damselfly in southern B.C.; but in the Yukon, not as common as the Boreal Bluet. Lives mostly along the marshy shores of ponds and lakes, but usually avoiding acidic and saline waters. In B.C., adults usually emerge a week or two after those of its close relative, the Boreal Bluet.


Northern; also in northern Eurasia. Widespread throughout B.C. and the Yukon north to the Arctic treeline.

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: 2024-07-13 10:21:04 AM]
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© E-Fauna BC 2021: An initiative of the Spatial Data Lab, Department of Geography, UBC