The Dragonflies and Damselflies of North Carolina
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North Carolina's 188 Odonate species

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Related Species in COENAGRIONIDAE: Number of records added in 2021 = 1

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Blackwater Bluet (Enallagma weewa) by Mark Shields
Compare with: Blue-tipped Dancer  
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Note: these identification tips apply specifically to mature males; features may differ in immature males and in females.

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mapClick on county for list of all its records for Blackwater Bluet
flight charts
distribution Nearly throughout the Coastal Plain, and the extreme eastern and southern Piedmont. Absent from the mountains and the northwestern half of the Piedmont. Perhaps absent in a few counties in the northeastern Coastal Plain, such as those around Albemarle Sound.
abundance Though recorded from most Coastal Plain and lower Piedmont counties, suggesting that it isn't rare, there are few recent reports, and just a handful of photographs. Thus, presumed to be uncommon and overlooked within the range -- at least in the southern portion of the Coastal Plain -- if not in decline in numbers. Certainly rare in the Piedmont portion of the range, as (despite many observers in the Triangle region) there are no recent records from this province.
flight In the Coastal Plain, the flight occurs from early May to early October, and the Piedmont flight is similar, though the earliest record is from late May.
habitat Unusual for a damselfly: as the name suggests, it is found around blackwater (acidic) streams, rarely around larger rivers and lakes, but again with tannic (acidic) waters. However, several recent records have been at margins of lakes and ponds (in the Sandhills, where waters are acidic).
comments It seems remarkable that Cuyler, and possibly others, have collected the species from 40 or more counties, yet there are relatively few recent observations. This scarcity of recent records is likely due to the fact that few observers look for odonates along blackwater streams; most field work is done around ponds, lakes, and larger creeks and rivers. Certainly a species that has been recorded (collected) in ecologically "impoverished" counties such as Edgecombe, Wilson, Greene, Lenoir, and Duplin cannot be that scarce. There are just a handful of known photographs available (so far) for the species in NC, and none as yet from the northern half of the Coastal Plain or eastern Piedmont.

As there were no reports at all statewide in 2019 and 2020, the State Rank has been adjusted upward to a less common S4, instead of S5. Perhaps the species is indeed declining, and not just being overlooked or difficult to survey; however, blackwater creeks and rivers have not been impacted much by development or agriculture in recent decades.
S_rank S4
G_rank G5
date_spread [Overwinter:] [Date Spread:] [No Late Date:] [Split on Feb:] [Default:]
Species account update: LeGrand on 2021-02-13 16:57:54

Photo Gallery for Blackwater Bluet   8 photos are shown. Other NC Galleries:    Jeff Pippen    Will Cook    Ted Wilcox
Photo 1 by: Matt Spangler

Comment: Pender, 2021-05-24, Black River downstream of Hunts Bluff
Photo 2 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Robeson, 2018-08-26, Lumber River at Lumber River State Park-Princess Ann - tandem pair ovipositing and lone male
Photo 3 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Brunswick, 2018-05-11, Allen Creek below dam on Patricia Lake, Boiling Spring Lakes - 1 tandem pair, 1 lone male
Photo 4 by: Conrad Wernett

Comment: Onslow, 2017-05-27 - Cowhorn Creek Landing. Individuals and tandem pairs common.
Photo 5 by: Kyle Kittelberger

Comment: Richmond; C, 2017-05-08, McKinney Lake Fish Hatchery
Photo 6 by: Mike Turner, Conrad Wernett, Alyssa Wernett

Comment: Scotland, 2017-05-07, Sandhill Game Land; Scotland Lake - adult males
Photo 7 by: Conrad Wernett, Alyssa Wernett

Comment: Richmond; C, 2015-06-14 - Lake McKinney drainage, saw male perched like spreadwings
Photo 8 by: Conrad Wernett

Comment: Jones, 2014-09-20 - Male photographed along Trent River