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Apache Dancer



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Argia munda

Calvert, 1902


Order Odonata
Suborder Zygoptera
Superfamily Coenagrionoidea
Family Coenagrionidae
Genus Argia
Species munda Calvert, 1902 [Argia]
Syn Argia rita Kennedy, 1919


Identification

The face of the male is bright blue with a pale labrum. The postocular spots are large, blue and connected by an occipital bar. The middorsal stripe is black and about 1/4 as wide as the blue antehumeral stripe. The black humeral stripe starts narrowing posteriorly at half its length. The legs are blue with black maculation on the outer femoral surfaces a nd inner tibial surfaces and the tarsi are dark. There are 5 and 4 postquadrangular cells in the fore- and hindwings respectively. The abdomen is blue with segment 1 bearing a black spot at its extreme base. There is a black anteapical spot on each side of segment 2 and segment 3 has an apical black spot on each side. Segments 4-6 each have subbasal and subapical black spots that increase in size posteriorly. Segment 7 is nearly all black except for a basal blue ring. Segments 3-6 each bear a distal black ring. Segments 8-10 are blue. The cerci are dome-shaped. The coloration of the female is similar to the male, but with the blues replaced by paler tan and violet colors. The middorsal carina is pale and outlined on either side by a black stripe. There is a well-developed posterior lobe on each mesostigmal plate, but most notably a large, deep mesepisternal pit is visible below each plate. Mesepisternal tubercles are lacking. The legs are not marked with much black as in the males. The abdomen is pale violet dorsally. Segment 1 is black basally and segments 2-6 each have a black subbasal and subapical spot that may be confluent. Segment 7 is completely black dorsally with only a blue basal ring. Segments 8-10 are completely pale.

Size

Total length: 36-40 mm; abdomen: 29-32 mm; hindwing: 23-27 mm.

Similar Species

Springwater Dancer (A. plana ) is similar, but smaller in size and the top of the head is largely black not blue. The middorsal thoracic stripe is also as broad as the pale antehumeral area in Springwater Dancer. Comanche Dancer (A. barretti ) has a black lateral stripe on abdominal segments 8-10 that is not present in Apache Dancer.

Habitat

Primarily found at desert streams.

Discussion

This is an average-sized southwestern species originally described from Arizona and Mexico as a variety of Vivid Dancer (A. vivida). It was first reported from Limpia Creek in Jeff Davis County, Texas and has been infrequently collected from this stream, Oak Creek in Big Bend National Park, and within the Guadalupe Mountains. It is also known from a couple of localities in New Mexico, but it never seems to be common where it is found.

Distribution

Southwestern U.S.(Arizona, New Mexico and Texas ) south into Mexico.