A very speciose New World genus of coenagrionid damselflies, most species are found in Central and South America, and many more species there remain to be described. Five species have been recorded in Michigan (see below). A. apicalis, A. sedula and A. tibialis are known only from the Lower Peninsula; the other two species - A. fumipennins and A. moesta - are widespread throughout the state.
These robust larvae (Figure 1) are distinguished from our other coenagrionids by large, flattened prementum that lack premental setae and have three pointed hooks (one movable hook and two pointed palpal lobes). Unlike most other coenagrionids in Michigan, Argia are principally lotic, inhabiting slow-moving sections of streams and rivers, but our species are also found in lentic habitats. A. moesta has been found along rock-margined lake sections and under rocks of stream rapids (Walker 1953), and A. apicalis, A. sedula and A. tibialis along lake shores, ponds, ditches or swamps (Westfall and May 1996).
Other links with information on the biology or
ecology of larval Argia:
New Jersey survey, with brief habitat notes >>http://www.hsrl.rutgers.edu/cumb.cape.txt
Venezuela water quality survey >>http://www.redpav-fpolar.info.ve/entomol/v09-1/v0901a04.html (Spanish and English summaries)
Houston, Texas area survey, with brief habitat notes >>http://www.io.com/~pdhulce/dragon3.html
Ottawa, Ontario survey, with brief habitat notes >> http://www.cyberus.ca/~jdsankey/odon2.html
Argia vivida conservation status in British Columbia, Canada >>http://rbcm1.rbcm.gov.bc.ca/End_Species/es_franc/species/vdancer.html
Information for obtaining German 16mm movie on egg-laying habits of Argia moesta >> http://www.iwf.gwdg.de/iwfger/alldaten/E2997.html (German)
1a. Lateral gills with both dorsal and ventral marginal fringe of stout setae at least 0.75x that of the total marginal length (picture); dark femoral band usually distinct (picture) - 2
gills with ventral marginal fringe of stout setae no more than 0.66x
that of the total marginal length, much shorter or lacking on the
dorsal margin (picture) - 3
2a.(1a). Antennal segments 1 and 2 pale (picture); femoral dark bands narrower than intervening spaces (picture) - A. sedula
2b. Second antennal segment partially or entirely dark (Figure 2b1); femoral dark bands usually quite distinct on inner surfaces (picture) - A. fumipennis
Fig. 2b1: Argia fumipennis larva (25x, dorsal view), from River Raisin, Lenawee Co., Michigan, collected by M. F. O'Brien and E. Bright on 02 May 1997. UMMZODO-1111.
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3a.(1b). Lateral carina of lateral gills with stout setae, if any, rather scattered, restricted to the basal 1/4 of the gill, and with numerous fine hairs (picture); hind femora each with one wide, dark band (picture); tracheation of gills usually not distinct (picture) - A. moesta
carina of lateral gills with setae extending at least 1/3 the length
of the gills (picture); palpal setae 0-4 (picture) - 4
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4a.(3b). Palpal setae 2-4 (picture); lateral gills usually widest at about the mid-point, about 2/5 as long as long (picture); dark bands of femora usually wider than the intervening spaces - A. apicalis
setae usually 1 (picture); lateral gills usually widest distinctly
beyond the mid-point, about 1/3 as wide as long (picture); dark bands
of femora usually narrower than the intervening spaces (picture) -
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Burmeister, H. 1839. Handbuch der Entomologie. Vol 2. Enslin: Berlin. Pp 397-1050.
Hagen, H. A. 1861. Synopsis of the neuroptera of North America, with a list of the South American species. Smithsonia Miscellaneous Collections 4:1-347.
Rambur, M. P. 1842. Histoire naturelle des insectes Neuropteres. Roret: Paris. 534 pp.
Say, T. 1839. Descriptions of new North American neuropterous insects and observations on some already described by (the late) Th. Say. Journal of the Academy of Natural Science of Philadelphia 8:9-46.
Walker, E. M. 1953. The Odonata of Canada and Alaska. Vol. 1. University of Toronto Press: Toronto, Ontario. xii + 292 pp.
Westfall, and M. J. May. 1996. Damselflies of North America. Scientific Publishers, Inc.:Gainesville, Florida. x + 659 pp.