« Previous Species | Next Species » | Photos
Vivid Dancer

Search For More Images

Argia vivida

Hagen in Selys, 1865

Order Odonata
Suborder Zygoptera
Superfamily Coenagrionoidea
Family Coenagrionidae
Genus Argia
Species vivida Hagen in Selys, 1865 [Argia]
Syn Argia kurilis Hagen in


This is a medium-sized, but robust blue species found in western New Mexico. The male's face is blue with the top of the head darker, almost violet. The postocular spots are large and broadly connected with the compound eyes. The pale blue occipital bar is generally confluent with these spots. The pterothorax is blue with a black middorsal stripe that is broader than the pale blue antehumeral stripe. The dark humeral stripe is widest at its ends appearing as only a hairline in the middle. The legs are blue with black stripes exteriorly and the tarsi are black. The wings are generally clear, but may have some amber. There are 4 (sometimes 3 or 5 ) and 3 postquadrangular cells in the fore- and hindwings, respectively. The abdomen is blue with a black spot dorsally on segment 1. Segment 2 generally has a full-length black stripe dorsolaterally. Segments 3-6 each have a middorsal black stripe extending anteriorly for the majority of each segment. Segment 7 is nearly all black and segments 8-10 are nearly all blue with a black ventrolateral stripe. The female is similar, but paler, and generally brown overall. The middorsal thoracic stripe is subequal in width to the antehumeral stripe. The femora are paler than in the male and the tibiae are yellowish-brown. The abdomen is generally like that of the male, but somewhat variable and usually darker. The hind margins of the mesostigmal plates develop into obtusely angular lobes projecting over the mesepisternal pits. Mesepisternal tubercles are present.


Total length: 29-37 mm; abdomen: 23-32 mm; hindwing: 19-25 mm.

Similar Species

Blue form of Springwater Dancer (A. plana ) is similar, but their ranges don't overlap for most of the region. Where Vivid Dancer occurs, close examination of male caudal appendages and female mesostigmal plates will be necessary to separate these two species. Apache Dancer (A. munda ) is another similar western dancer, but with more blue dorsally on the middle abdominal segments. Look under the similar species of Springwater Dancer for additional differences with other species.


Streams and rivers of arid southwest.


Springwater and the less common Apache Dancer were originally described as subspecies of Vivid Dancer. Many records of the later in the early literature from the south-central United States are actually Springwater Dancer. Vivid Dancer is found only throughout northwestern New Mexico, within our region, where it behaves similar to the closely related Springwater Dancer.


Western Canada and U.S. east to New Mexico.