Nebraska Dragonflies and Damselflies

Division of Entomology

Plains Forktail

Ischnura damula

Calvert, 1902

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The Plains Forktail is very similar to the Pacific Forktail but may be differentiated by looking closely (through a hand lens) at the caudal appendages. Like the Pacific Forktail, the male's shoulder stripes are broken into four blue spots on top of the thorax. Most of the male's abdomen is dark, except for segments 8-10. The female looks much like the female Pacific Forktail.

This is a western species going north of Nebraska but not east ofthe western counties. It is common to abundant in all the Panhandlecounties and recorded from 3 counties just east of there. It isfrequently found in the same pond or marshy area as Eastern Forktail and Western Forktail, sometimes outnumbering both.

Plains Forktail
Plains Forktail male. Photo by Doug Danforth.

Size: 23-34 mm (0.9-1.3 in)

Habitat: ponds with dense vegetation

Great Plains Range: TX, OK, KS, NE, SD, ND, NM, CO, WY

Flight season: early June to early September

Plains Forktail map

Green indicates accepted county record (specimen or photograph).
Yellow indicates sight record only.

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