Threatened Plants and Animals of the Southeastern Massachusetts Pine Barrens

Pine Barrens Bluet

Photo courtesy of Cliff Bernzweig 2006 (permission pending)

Pine Barrens Bluet Enallagma recurvatum is a species of damselfly in family Coenagrionidae. It is endemic to the United States. Its natural habitat is freshwater lakes. It is threatened by habitat loss.

Ranked as threatened in Massachusetts (Natural Heritage Endangered Species Program), with most populations in two counties, Plymouth and Barnstable. . International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) RED LIST

Pine Barrens Bluets have large eyes on the sides of the head, short antennae, and four heavily veined wings that are held folded together over the back. The male’s thorax (winged and legged section behind the head) is mostly blue with black stripes on the “shoulders” and top. The Pine Barrens Bluet has a long, slender abdomen, which is composed of ten segments. Females have thicker abdomens than the males, and are generally brown where the males are blue, though older females may become quite bluish. Pine Barrens Bluets average just over one inch (26mm to 29mm) in length.The major threat to the Pine Barrens Bluet is degradation and destruction of the wetlands which are its breeding and nymphal habitat. Threats include construction and development, artificial drawdown of pond water-level by groundwater pumping, and run-off from roadways and sewage. In addition, high-impact recreational use such as off road vehicles driving through pond shores, which may destroy breeding and nymphal habitat, and motor boats. Mass Wildlife Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program