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Kiowa Dancer



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Argia immunda

Hagen, 1861


Order Odonata
Suborder Zygoptera
Superfamily Coenagrionoidea
Family Coenagrionidae
Genus Argia
Species immunda (Hagen, 1861) [Agrion]


Identification

The male's head is largely pale violet. There is a distinct but irregular black bar between the eyes and the large violet postocular spots. The antehumeral stripe is pale blue or violet and about the same width as the black middorsal stripe. The black humeral stripe is forked at its upper half and the metapleural suture is outlined in black line. The bottom of the pterothorax generally has a mottled appearance. The femora are pale w ith dark stripes running lengthwise. The inner sides of the tibiae are pale and the tarsi are black. There are generally only 3 postquadrangular cells in both the fore- and hindwing. The abdomen is pale violet or sometimes blue with black maculation. There is a basal black spot and small antero- and posterolateral spot on segment 1. Segment 2 has 3 spots, an apical and basal superior spot and an inferior middle spot; all of which may be confluent. Segments 3-6 are marked with black post-basally and on the apical 1/3 of each segment laterally. On segments 4-6 these post-basal streaks are generally confluent with the opposite side resulting in a distinct pale, dark, pale, dark pattern of the abdomen. Segment 7 is entirely black with a thin pale basal ring. Segments 8-10 are blue with a ventrolateral black streak. The cerci are divided at their tip and the cerci are sharply bifurcate with the lower lobe rounded and the superior lobe acutely directed dorso-posteriorly. The female is simila rly colored to the male but paler. The forked humeral stripe is thin and scarcely covers the suture. The antehumeral stripe is pale and often marked with darker spots. The mesostigmal plates lack a posterior lobe and their posterior margin is generally elevated medially. The middorsal thoracic carina bifurcates widely, well behind the posterior margin and the mesepisternal tubercles are lacking. The abdomen is marked as in the male, but with segment 7 not as black and similar to segment 6. Segments 8 and 9 are pale with a dark ventrolateral stripe on each side. Segment 10 is entirely pale.

Size

Total length: 33-38 mm; abdomen: 25-31 mm; hindwing: 19-25 mm.

Similar Species

Variable (A. fumipennis ) and Lavender Dancers (A. hinei ) are similar but lack the pale-dark-pale-dark abdominal pattern unique to Kiowa Dancer. Its size and this distinctive pattern should separate this species from all other damselflies in the region.

Habitat

Streams and rivers.

Discussion

Despite the fact that this species is widely distributed in our region and commonly encountered, remarkably little is known of its biology. Though the alternating pale, dark, pale, dark pattern on the abdomen is always visible, it can become slightly obscured with age.

Distribution

Southwestern U.S. from California eastward to South Dakota and Texas; also south through Mexico to Belize.