The Dragonflies and Damselflies of North Carolina
Home Page Search Odonate Resources
LoginNC Biodiversity Project

North Carolina's 189 Odonate species

«      »

Sort Species by: Family   Scientific Name       [ Undocumented ]
Related Species in COENAGRIONIDAE: Number of records for 2023 = 0

PDF has more details,
e.g., flight data, high counts, and earliest/latest dates can be seen.
[View PDF]
Big Bluet (Enallagma durum) by John Petranka
Compare with: Familiar Bluet   Atlantic 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]
Click on county for list of all its records for Big Bluet
Flight Charts
Distribution Essentially just the eastern half of the Coastal Plain; absent from the western half of the Coastal Plain counties, including the Sandhills. Absent in the mountains and Piedmont, except for a specimen record from Rutherford County (correct?). As would be expected from the NC range, this species' US range is mainly limited to tidal and estuarine areas, north to ME, though it does occur over most of peninsular FL. In addition, the OdonataCentral range map shows scattered records for TN, northeastern AL, and north-central GA; thus the record for Rutherford County may well be legitimate.
Abundance Locally fairly common in coastal counties and those in the Tidewater zone, as there are several one-day counts of at least 30 individuals (plus an excellent count of 217 individuals from Hyde County). Rare to uncommon farther inland (such as in Bladen County).
Flight The flight occurs from late April (rarely early April) to late October. The Rutherford County record is for late July.
Habitat Unusual for most damselflies -- mainly along the lower portions of large rivers near or at estuaries, including the vicinity of brackish marshes. Also at large lakes with sandy bottoms, such as Lake Waccamaw, as well as coastal impoundments.
Behavior Often perches low on emergent vegetation, though often in sun and thus not one of the harder bluets to find, if you are able to reach its habitats.
Comments This species has a range in NC like no other damselfly, but quite a bit like several dragonflies, particularly Needham's Skimmer, Four-spotted Pennant, and Seaside Dragonlet. It is certainly one of the very few damselflies that can be locally numerous in coastal marshes and other wetlands along the coast, such as at Lake Mattamuskeet in Hyde County. The species had been given a State Rank of S4S5 for a number of years, but the N.C. Natural Heritage Program moved it to a more reasonable S4 rank in late 2020.
State Rank S4
State Status
Global Rank G5
Federal Status
Other Name
Species account update: LeGrand on 2023-01-18 15:00:40

Photo Gallery for Big Bluet   13 photos are shown. Other NC Galleries:    Jeff Pippen    Will Cook    Ted Wilcox
Photo 1 by: Kyle Kittelberger

Comment: Dare; OBM, 2020-05-26, Pea Island NWR, South Pond - male
Photo 2 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Dare; OBU, 2019-06-14, Jockey's Ridge State Park (JORI)
Photo 3 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Currituck, 2018-09-08, Historic Corolla Park, Corolla
Photo 4 by: Mark Shields, Hunter Phillips

Comment: Dare; OBM, 2018-06-29, North Pond, Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge
Photo 5 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Columbus, 2016-07-22, Lake Waccamaw, southern end between dam and pier
Photo 6 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Columbus, 2016-07-22, Lake Waccamaw, southern end between dam and pier
Photo 7 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Hyde, 2016-06-19, Mattamuskeet National Wildlife Refuge
Photo 8 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Hyde, 2016-06-19, Mattamuskeet National Wildlife Refuge
Photo 9 by: John Petranka

Comment: Bladen, 2016-04-27, Bay Tree Lake State Park. South shore of lake near white sandy beach. Males.
Photo 10 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Pamlico, 2015-09-04, Upper Broad Creek at Lee
Photo 11 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Hyde, 2015-07-08, Mattamuskeet NWR
Photo 12 by: Kristy Baker

Comment: Currituck, 2015-06-09, Pine Island Audubon Sanctuary
Photo 13 by: R. Emmitt

Comment: Craven, 2005-05-25, Pinecliff along the Neuse River in Croatan National Forest