Citrine Forktail (male) Damselfly
Ischnura hastata


Pete Williams, Gulf Breeze, Florida
September 2010

Males of this species are distinct because of a unique Males of this species are distinct because of a unique pterostigma (dark spot near the wing tip). It is lighter in color and twice or more the size of its hindwing counterpart. No other damselfly in the world has this characteristic. The thorax of males is green and the abdomen is bright yellow. The overall length is 21-27 mm; abdomen is 16-22 mm, and the hindwing is 9-15 mm.

The female Citrine and Fragile Forktails (I. posita) are similar, but the Fragile Forktails are generally darker.

Habitat is heavily vegetated ponds and lakes and other permanent or temporary bodies of water.

Citrine Forktail is the smallest damselfly in North America and as the above wide distribution suggests it is a cosmopolitan species with the ability to readily adapt to its environment. Citrine Forktail is found throughout the New World, but remarkably little has been written about its reproductive behavior or ecology. It is not unusual to find individuals far from water. They may be abundant in heavily vegetated areas with little or no water. Whether because of its small size or secretive behavior, the Citrine Forktail is seldom seen mating.

Distribution of the Citrine Forktail is Florida to southern Ontario west to Colorado and California south through Mexico to Central and South America.

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