Argia Rambur, 1842 (Coenagrionidae) -Dancers

Fig. 1: Argia fumipennislarva (6x, dorsal view), from River Raisin, Lenawee Co.,Michigan,
collected by M. F. O'Brien and E. Bright on 02 May 1997.UMMZODO-1111.

Notes - MichiganSpecies List - Key -References
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Page last updated: 21 July1998 (EB)

Notes on the Michigan Species ofArgia

A very speciose New World genus of coenagrioniddamselflies, most species are found in Central and South America, andmany more species there remain to be described. Five species havebeen recorded in Michigan (see below). A. apicalis, A. sedula andA. tibialis are known only from the Lower Peninsula; the other twospecies - A. fumipennins and A.moesta - are widespread throughout thestate.

These robust larvae (Figure 1) aredistinguished from our other coenagrionids by large, flattenedprementum that lack premental setae and have three pointed hooks (onemovable hook and two pointed palpal lobes). Unlike most othercoenagrionids in Michigan, Argiaare principally lotic, inhabitingslow-moving sections of streams and rivers, but our species are alsofound in lentic habitats. A. moestahas been found along rock-margined lakesections and under rocks of stream rapids (Walker 1953), and A. apicalis, A.sedula and A. tibialis along lakeshores, ponds, ditches or swamps (Westfall and May1996).

Other links with information on the biology orecology of larval Argia:
NewJersey survey, with brief habitat notes>>
Venezuelawater quality survey>> and English summaries)
Houston,Texas area survey, with brief habitat notes >>
Ottawa,Ontario survey, with brief habitat notes >>
Argiavivida conservation status in BritishColumbia, Canada>>
Informationfor obtaining German 16mm movie on egg-laying habits ofArgia moesta >> (German)

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MichiganSpecies List

Map 1Map 2 Map 3Map 4 Map 5
Maps 1-5: County distribution of the Michigan species of
Click on map for a largerimage

Map 1 - Argia apicalis (Say,1839) - Blue-fronted Dancer
Map 2 -
Argia fumipennis(Burmeister,1839) - Variable Dancer
Map 3 -
Argia moesta (Hagen,1861) - Kiowa Dancer
Map 4 -
Argia sedula (Hagen,1861) - Blue-ringed Dancer
Map 5 -
Argia tibialis (Rambur, 1842) - Blue-tipped Dancer

Key to Mature Larvae of Michigan Argia
(Adapted from Westfall and May1996)

1a. Lateral gills withbothdorsal and ventral marginal fringe of stout setae at least 0.75x thatof the total marginal length (picture); dark femoral band usuallydistinct (picture) - 2

1b. Lateralgills with ventral marginal fringe of stout setae no more than 0.66xthat of the total marginal length, much shorter or lacking on thedorsal margin (picture) - 3

2a.(1a). Antennal segments 1 and 2 pale (picture); femoraldark bands narrower than intervening spaces (picture) -A. sedula

2b. Secondantennal segment partially or entirely dark (Figure 2b1); femoraldark bands usually quite distinct on inner surfaces (picture) -A. fumipennis

Fig. 2b1
Fig. 2b1: Argia fumipennis larva (25x, dorsal view), from River Raisin, LenaweeCo., Michigan, collected by M. F. O'Brien and E. Bright on 02 May1997. UMMZODO-1111.

Back previous couplet(1)

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 onewide, dark band (picture); tracheation of gills usually not distinct(picture) - A. moesta

3b. Lateralcarina of lateral gills with setae extending at least 1/3 the lengthof the gills (picture); palpal setae 0-4 (picture) - 4
Back previous couplet(2); Back to beginning ofkey

4a.(3b). Palpal setae 2-4 (picture); lateral gills usuallywidest 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

4b. Palpalsetae usually 1 (picture); lateral gills usually widest distinctlybeyond the mid-point, about 1/3 as wide as long (picture); dark bandsof femora usually narrower than the intervening spaces (picture) -A. tibialis
Back previouscouplet (3); Back to beginning of key

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Burmeister, H.1839. Handbuch der Entomologie. Vol 2. Enslin: Berlin. Pp397-1050.

Hagen, H. A. 1861.Synopsis of the neuroptera of North America, with a list of the SouthAmerican species. SmithsoniaMiscellaneous Collections 4:1-347.

Rambur, M. P. 1842.Histoire naturelle des insectes Neuropteres. Roret: Paris. 534pp.

Say, T. 1839.Descriptions of new North American neuropterous insects andobservations on some already described by (the late) Th. Say.Journal of the Academy of NaturalScience of Philadelphia 8:9-46.

Walker, E. M. 1953.The Odonata of Canada and Alaska. Vol. 1. University of TorontoPress: Toronto, Ontario. xii + 292 pp.

Westfall, andM. J. May. 1996. Damselflies of North America. Scientific Publishers,Inc.:Gainesville, Florida. x + 659 pp.

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