Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada

Species Ischnura verticalis - Eastern Forktail

Damselfly - Ischnura verticalis Eastern Forktail Damselfly - Ischnura verticalis Strange Damselfly - Ischnura verticalis Unknown Damselfly - Ischnura verticalis - female Ischnura verticalis male? - Ischnura verticalis - male damselfly - Ischnura verticalis - male DamFlyBlue05242019_OR_5521 - Ischnura verticalis teneral male eastern forktail - Ischnura verticalis - male
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 verticalis (Eastern Forktail)
22-30 mm
Small green, black and blue damselflies.

MALE: Thorax black above, with green shoulder stripes; pale green sides.

Abdomen mostly black, with blue tip (on segments 8 & 9) and thin pale rings; black spots on sides of blue tip.

Eyes dark above, greenish below, with small green eyespots.

Some males with posita-like broken stripe:

FEMALE: Mature females powdery grayish-blue throughout, with black markings absent or obscured; eyespots pale blue.

Immature female thorax bright orange with black dorsal and shoulder stripes; abdomen orange at base and black above, with no blue or orange at tip; orange eyespots. (1)


Ed Lam lists some unusual female pattern variations on page 81
From the Atlantic coast to the Midwest U.S. From north of Florida to Southern Canada.
A variety of wetlands, but most common at small well-vegetated ponds. (1)
Spring-early fall
See Also
Ishnura perparva, or the Western Forktail. Western and Eastern Forktails are virtually identical and best told by range. (1)
Print References
"Stokes Beginner's Guide to Dragonflies", pages 70-71 (1)
Internet References
The Insects of Cedar Creek has info and photos of pinned adults.
Raphael Carter's Home Page has a nice article on I. verticalis complete with several photos.
Gloria Mundi Press has photos of adults as well as scanned specimens.
Works Cited
1.Stokes Beginner's Guide to Dragonflies
Donald and Lillian Stokes. 2002. Little, Brown and Company.