Nebraska Dragonflies and Damselflies

Division of Entomology

Eastern Forktail

Ischnura verticalis

Say, 1839

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The Eastern Forktail is the most widespread and well-known of the genus. The male is tiny, with a green and black striped thorax and a black abdomen with a bright blue tip. Young females are bright orange, becoming bluish gray with maturity. This species is often the first damselfly to appear in the spring.

Very common. An eastern species extending west into Colorado andWyoming. This is the most common and widespread damselfly in the state and it is found in almost any wet grassy or marshy area. It is not, however,at every such site and it is definitely less common and sometimes harderto find in the western counties. Anywhere you find forktails youshould find Eastern Forktail. The Western Forktail is almost identicaland coexists with the Eastern Forktail in the western half of state.

Eastern Forktail
Ischnura verticalis male

Photo courtesy of Loren and Babs Padelford.

Size: 20-33 mm (0.8-1.3 in)

Habitat: virtually all slow moving or still waters

Great Plains Range: TX, OK, KS, NE, SD, ND, NM, CO, WY, MT, MO, IA, MN

Flight season: early May to mid September

Eastern Forktail map

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


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