The Dragonflies and Damselflies of North Carolina
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North Carolina's 189 Odonate species

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Related Species in COENAGRIONIDAE: Number of records for 2024-00-00 = 0

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Atlantic Bluet (Enallagma doubledayi) by Mark Shields
Compare with: Familiar Bluet   Big Bluet   Hagen's Bluet   Little Bluet  
Identification Tips: Move the cursor over the image, or tap the image if using a mobile device, to reveal ID Tips.
Note: these identification tips apply specifically to mature males; features may differ in immature males and in females.

[Google images]     [Global Biodiversity Information Facility]      iNaturalist
Click on county for list of all its records for Atlantic Bluet
Flight Charts
Distribution Generally throughout the Coastal Plain, and in the southeastern third of the Piedmont; also sparingly in the southern mountains. Seemingly absent over most of the northwestern half of the state, including most of the Piedmont and most of the central and northern mountains. This is basically an Atlantic slope species, not found west of the Appalachians and rarely within them.
Abundance Often overlooked because of identification difficulties, especially with Familiar and Big bluets. Fairly common to locally abundant in the southern half of the Coastal Plain, but rare to uncommon in the northwestern part of the Coastal Plain. Rare to locally uncommon in the extreme eastern Coastal Plain and in the southeastern Piedmont, and very rare west to McDowell, Henderson, and Transylvania counties. However, a 2019 count of 22, made from a kayak along the border of Camden and Currituck counties, suggests that it might be locally numerous in parts of the northern Coastal Plain.
Flight A very wide flight period, extending to early winter. In the Coastal Plain, records occur from mid-February to mid-January. The relatively few Piedmont records fall between early April and late October, whereas mountain records occur only from mid-June to late July (so far).
Habitat A variety of ponds and lakes, rarely slow-moving creeks/rivers, at least where emergent vegetation is present. Mainly a pond species.

See also Habitat Account for General Pond Shorelines
Behavior Males perch low on vegetation over water; females are more often found in shoreline vegetation or on the ground on nearby roads or trails. Males are often easily seen if present at all at a pond/lake (though compare carefully with Familiar Bluet!).
Comments Beaton (2007) notes that the species in GA is likely under-reported, and certainly the same can be said for NC. Though there are specimen records for about 35-38% of the counties, until a few years ago there were no posted photos on the website, suggesting that recent biologists had trouble distinguishing the species from other bluets by sight or even by photographs. Thankfully, we now have about 20 photos on the website. Much more data are desired to flesh out the range in the state, such as in the southern Piedmont and in the far-eastern Coastal Plain. Interestingly, Paulson (2011) calls it common, and the now 275 records with dates for the Coastal Plain suggest that it is locally abundant, at least in the southeastern portion of the province. Most of these recent records have come from field work done by Mark Shields, especially at several limesink ponds.
State Rank S5
State Status
Global Rank G5
Federal Status
Other Name
Species account update: LeGrand on 2023-01-18 13:17:33

Photo Gallery for Atlantic Bluet   21 photos are shown. Other NC Galleries:    Jeff Pippen    Will Cook    Ted Wilcox
Photo 1 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Alexander, 2023-05-11, Rocky Face Mountain Recreational Area - teneral male along edge of quarry
Photo 2 by: Harry LeGrand, Lori Arent

Comment: Wake, 2022-08-03, N.C. Museum of Art grounds - males; regular at the pond; photo by L. Arent
Photo 3 by: Harry LeGrand. Lori Arent

Comment: Richmond; C, 2022-04-28, many Sandhills locales - McKinney Fish Hatchery; photo by Lori Arent
Photo 4 by: Harry LeGrand, Lori Arent

Comment: Wayne, 2021-06-17, Cliffs of the Neuse State Park
Photo 5 by: Kevin Ricker

Comment: Chatham, 2020-06-09, Fearrington, retention pond north of Falling Springs Drive,iNaturalist Record #49044200
Photo 6 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Camden, 2019-06-24, Indiantown Creek, from S. Indiantown Rd. bridge to confluence with North River and back, by kayak. - First record for county
Photo 7 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Currituck, 2019-06-24, Indiantown Creek, from S. Indiantown Rd. bridge to confluence with North River and back, by kayak. - First record for county
Photo 8 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Brunswick, 2018-08-26, Boiling Spring Lakes - Spring Lake Park
Photo 9 by: John Petranka, Sally Gewalt.

Comment: Craven, 2017-10-26, Craven County Rest Area, jct. US 70 and Clarks Road; at the retention pond. - Males.
Photo 10 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Duplin, 2017-09-22, Pond and ditch beside Quiet Water Drive, Chinquapin - male
Photo 11 by: Mark Shields, Hunter Phillips

Comment: Scotland, 2017-05-15, Scotland Lake and in-flowing creek, Sandhills Game Land
Photo 12 by: Mike Turner

Comment: Wake, 2017-04-28, Wolf Ridge Apts. retention pond; 35.76977, -78.67225 - 5 adult males and 1 pair in wheel
Photo 13 by: Mark Shields

Comment: New Hanover, 2017-04-10, limesink ponds at Carolina Beach State Park
Photo 14 by: John Petranka

Comment: Wake, 2017-04-04, Wilkerson Nature Preserve Park, Raleigh. At Pond. - Male.
Photo 15 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Carteret, 2016-11-18, ponds along Patsy Pond Nature Trail, Croatan National Forest
Photo 16 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Pender, 2016-09-11, Holly Shelter Game Land, ponds
Photo 17 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Onslow, 2016-05-07, Stones Creek Game Land
Photo 18 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Onslow, 2016-03-12, Stones Creek Game Land. Photo shows teneral male.
Photo 19 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Onslow, 2015-08-05, Stones Creek Game Land, second pond along Lake Road
Photo 20 by: John Petranka, Sally Gewalt

Comment: Wayne, 2015-07-31, Cliffs of the Neuse State Park (CLNE). Along the lake shoreline across from the boathouse/dock. - ca. 50 seen along shoreline, but possibly many more present. Scanning with binoculars we estimated >1,000 male bluets flying low over the lake surface, but they were too far away to reliably identify as Atlantic Bluets.
Photo 21 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Onslow, 2015-07-27, Coastal Carolina Community College, Jacksonville - at retention pond