New York Natural Heritage Program
Little Bluet
Enallagma minusculum Morse, 1895
Insects

Identifying Characteristics [-]
Little Bluets are some of the smallest in the genus Enallagma, known to be 24-28 mm in total length. Male abdomens have an equal amount of blue and black (Nikula et al. 2003). Males have a purple thorax and head upon maturity (Lam 2004). Males also have a broad, black mid-dorsal stripe and shoulder stripes with abdominal segments 8-9 entirely blue (Nikula et al. 2003). Females have a thorax similar to males, with blue, green, or buffy areas and a black abdomen dorsally (Nikula et al. 2003, Lam 2004). A blue ring is usually present at the base of abdominal segment 8 on females (Lam 2004). Males are distinctive and females are best separated from other species through examination of their mesostigmal plates under a microscope (Lam 2004).
Little Bluet Images
click to enlarge
The Best Time to See
In Maine, E. minusculum's flight season is from mid-June through late August (Brunelle & deMaynadier 2005). Connecticut reports adults from early June through mid-August (Lam 2004) and New York dates for confirmed observations span from June 4 to July 14 (New York Natural Heritage Program 2011).
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Present Reproducing
The time of year you would expect to find Little Bluet present (blue shading) and reproducing (orange shading) in New York.
Similar Species
  • New England Bluet (Enallagma laterale)
    Female New England Bluets are similar to Little Bluets, but usually lack a partial pale ring on the base of abdominal segment 8 and differ in mesostigmal plates (Lam 2004).
  • Hagen's Bluet (Enallagma hageni)
    Female Hagen's Bluets are similar to Little Bluets, but usually lack a partial pale ring on the base of abdominal segment 8 and differ in mesostigmal plates (Lam 2004).
  • Marsh Bluet (Enallagma ebrium)
    Female Marsh Bluets are similar to Little Bluets, but usually lack a partial pale ring on the base of abdominal segment 8 and differ in mesostigmal plates (Lam 2004).
  • Variable Dancer (Argia fumipennis violacea)
    Male Variable Dancer's are larger than Little Bluets, and have more extensive purple coloration and forked shoulder stripes (Lam 2004).