Subarctic Bluet - Coenagrion interrogatum
State Rank Reason (see State Rank above)
The Subarctic Bluet appears to be very habitat specific to the marshy lakes of northwest MT, limited collecting contributes to it's vulnerable state status as well.
The Subarctic Bluet is much less common than the Taiga Bluet and is very localized rather than widespread. This small bluet inhabits cool beaver ponds or peat bogs. It can be found in a limited area of Northwest MT in late spring and summer. The small damselfly is 30 mm long (~1 in.). The male is black and bright blue. It can be distinguished from the Taiga Bluet by the broken shoulder stripe and the abdominal banding. In this Bluet, the blue color of the stubby hindmost segments extends into the preceding long segment, unlike the all black long segment of the Taiga Bluet. Females may be blue or greenish with narrow light bands on the abdomen. Like all bluets, the Subarctic Bluet is a weak flier and rests horizontally with wings folded over the abdomen.
It can be distinguished from the Taiga Bluet by the broken shoulder stripe and the abdominal banding. In this bluet, the blue color of the stubby hindmost segments extends into the preceding long segment, unlike the all black long segment of the Taiga Bluet.
Currently the Subarctic Bluet is only known from Spencer and Howe Lakes in Flathead County (Miller and Gustafson 1996).
Summary of Observations Submitted for Montana
Number of Observations:
(Click on the following maps and charts to see full sized version)
Map Help and Descriptions
(Observations spanning multiple months or years are excluded from time charts)
This species is not known to migrate.
The preferred habitat for Subarctic Bluets is open boreal fens and bogs, as well as marshes and beaver ponds with abundant mosses and sedges (Westfall and May 1996, Acorn 2004, Paulson 2009).
Ecological Systems Associated with this Species
- Details on Creation and Suggested Uses and Limitations
How Associations Were Made
We associated the use and habitat quality (high, medium, or low) of each of the 82 ecological systems mapped in Montana for
vertebrate animal species that regularly breed, overwinter, or migrate through the state by:
- Using personal observations and reviewing literature that summarize the breeding, overwintering, or migratory habitat requirements of each species (Dobkin 1992, Hart et al. 1998, Hutto and Young 1999, Maxell 2000, Foresman 2001, Adams 2003, and Werner et al. 2004);
- Evaluating structural characteristics and distribution of each ecological system relative to the species’ range and habitat requirements;
- Examining the observation records for each species in the state-wide point database associated with each ecological system;
- Calculating the percentage of observations associated with each ecological system relative to the percent of Montana covered by each ecological system to get a measure of “observations versus availability of habitat”.
Species that breed in Montana were only evaluated for breeding habitat use, species that only overwinter in Montana were only evaluated for overwintering habitat use, and species that only migrate through Montana were only evaluated for migratory habitat use.
In general, species were associated as using an ecological system if structural characteristics of used habitat documented in the literature were present in the ecological system or large numbers of point observations were associated with the ecological system.
However, species were not associated with an ecological system if there was no support in the literature for use of structural characteristics in an ecological system, even if
point observations were associated with that system.
High, medium, and low habitat quality was assigned based on the degree to which the structural characteristics of an ecological system matched the preferred structural habitat characteristics for each species in the literature.
The percentage of observations associated with each ecological system relative to the percent of Montana covered by each ecological system was also used to guide assignments of habitat quality.
If you have any questions or comments on species associations with ecological systems, please contact Bryce Maxell at email@example.com
or (406) 444-3655.
Suggested Uses and Limitations
Species associations with ecological systems should be used to generate potential lists of species that may occupy broader landscapes for the purposes of landscape-level planning.
These potential lists of species should not be used in place of documented occurrences of species (this information can be requested at: http://mtnhp.org/requests/default.asp
) or systematic surveys for species and evaluations of habitat at a local site level by trained biologists.
Users of this information should be aware that the land cover data used to generate species associations is based on imagery from the late 1990s and early 2000s and was only intended to be used at broader landscape scales.
Land cover mapping accuracy is particularly problematic when the systems occur as small patches or where the land cover types have been altered over the past decade.
Thus, particular caution should be used when using the associations in assessments of smaller areas (e.g., evaluations of public land survey sections).
Finally, although a species may be associated with a particular ecological system within its known geographic range, portions of that ecological system may occur outside of the species’ known geographic range.
- Adams, R.A. 2003. Bats of the Rocky Mountain West; natural history, ecology, and conservation. Boulder, CO: University Press of Colorado. 289 p.
- Dobkin, D. S. 1992. Neotropical migrant land birds in the Northern Rockies and Great Plains. USDA Forest Service, Northern Region. Publication No. R1-93-34. Missoula, MT.
- Foresman, K.R. 2001. The wild mammals of Montana. Special Publication No. 12. Lawrence, KS: The American Society of Mammalogists. 278 p.
- Hart, M.M., W.A. Williams, P.C. Thornton, K.P. McLaughlin, C.M. Tobalske, B.A. Maxell, D.P. Hendricks, C.R. Peterson, and R.L. Redmond. 1998. Montana atlas of terrestrial vertebrates. Montana Cooperative Wildlife Research Unit, University of Montana, Missoula, MT. 1302 p.
- Hutto, R.L. and J.S. Young. 1999. Habitat relationships of landbirds in the Northern Region, USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station RMRS-GTR-32. 72 p.
- Maxell, B.A. 2000. Management of Montana’s amphibians: a review of factors that may present a risk to population viability and accounts on the identification, distribution, taxonomy, habitat use, natural history, and the status and conservation of individual species. Report to U.S. Forest Service Region 1. Missoula, MT: Wildlife Biology Program, University of Montana. 161 p.
- Werner, J.K., B.A. Maxell, P. Hendricks, and D. Flath. 2004. Amphibians and reptiles of Montana. Missoula, MT: Mountain Press Publishing Company. 262 p.
Larvae feed on a wide variety of aquatic insects, such as mosquito larvae, other aquatic fly larvae, mayfly larvae, and freshwater shrimp. Adult damselfly will eat almost any soft-bodied flying insect including mosquitoes, flies, small moths, mayflies, and flying ants or termites.
Male Subarctic Bluets tend to be more present in dense vegetation and not in open water. Copulation usually occurs while perched on nearby upland shrubs. Oviposition occurs in tandem or by single females on floating grass and sedge leaves as well as grass stems (Paulson 2009).
- Literature Cited AboveLegend: View Online Publication
- Acorn, J. 2004. Damselflies of Alberta: flying neon toothpicks in grass. Edmonton, Alberta: University of Alberta Press. 156 pp.
- Miller, K.B. and D.L. Gustafson. 1996. Distribution records of the Odonata of Montana. Bulletin of American Odonatology 3(4):75-88.
- Westfall, M. J., Jr. and M.L. May. 1996. Damselflies of North America. Scientific Publishers, Gainesville, Florida. 649 pp.
- Additional ReferencesLegend: View Online Publication
Do you know of a citation we're missing?
- Dunkle, S. 2000. Dragonflies through binoculars: A field guide to dragonflies of North America. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 266 pp.
- Kohler, Nathan S. Excel spreadsheets of Odonate observations/collections in Montana.
- Paulson, D.R. 2009. Dragonflies and damselflies of the West. Princeton University Press, Princeton. 535 pp.
- Paulson, D.R. and S.W. Dunkle. 1999. A checklist of North American Odonata. Slater Museum of Natural History University of Puget Sound Occasional Paper Number 56:86 pp.
- Paulson, D.R. and S.W. Dunkle. 2009. A checklist of North American Odonata including English name, etymology, type locality, and distribution. Originally published as Occasional Paper No. 56. Slater Museum of Natural History, University of Puget Sound, June 1999; completely revised March 2009.