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TaxonomyBrowse
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Species Ischnura cervula - Pacific Forktail

California damselfly for April - Ischnura cervula - female Damselfly - Ischnura cervula - male Pacific forktail - Ischnura cervula - female Which damselfly? - Ischnura cervula - female 3670 - Ischnura cervula - male Damselfly - Ischnura cervula - male Zygoptera Mating - Ischnura cervula - male - female Mike's Marshian Damsels #3 - Ischnura cervula - female
Classification
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Odonata (Dragonflies and Damselflies)
Suborder Zygoptera (Damselflies)
Family Coenagrionidae (Narrow-winged Damselflies)
Genus Ischnura (Forktails)
Species cervula (Pacific Forktail)
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
First described in 1876 by Edmond de Sélys Longchamps as Ischnura cervula
Explanation of Names
Probably a diminutive of Latin cervus- "(red) deer"
Size
23-30 mm
Identification
abdomen blue only on segments 8 & 9 -- blue on top and bottom touch along sides. Four tiny blue dots on top of thorax.


teneral:
See California Dragonflies and Damselflies or Dennis Paulson (1)

Andromorphic females will have a blue 8th abdominal segment only, with no blue, or only blue spots, on 9th segment; males have 8th & 9th segments blue.
teneral:

Young female - orange:


Pink bodied females with various amounts of blue:
Blue on 8 with spots on 9:


Blue on 8, none on 9:


patchy blue on 8:


Blue females:


Mature females:
Range
Western half of the US
Habitat
Marshy edges of lakes, ponds, and slow streams
Season
April through October
See Also
Ischnura damula is very similar and we may not be able to separate them in areas where their ranges overlap. But damula does not range into southern British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, Idaho, Montana, and western Wyoming. So all similar images in those areas can be assumed to be Ischnura cervula.
Internet References
Bulletins de l'Académie royale ... de Belgique, ser.2, v.41, p.262    Selys' original description of the species (in French).
Works Cited
1.Dragonflies of Washington
Dennis Paulson. 1999. Seattle Audubon Society.