Fragile Forktail Ischnura posita 0.8 - 1.1 inches in length. ..

Among the first damselflies to emerge in the Northeast is the Fragile Forktail. It is one of the most common and widespread species in the area, found at ponds, lakes and slow streams. Field identifiable.


Fragile Forktail (Ischnura posita) male. Photograph taken May 9, 2004 at the Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education, Philadelphia, PA.

Like most other forktail males, Fragile Forktail has a green and black thorax. However it is the only northeastern male Forktail to lack blue on the abdomen tip. It always has divided green shoulder stripes which resemble exclamation marks. Other male forktails rarely have their shoulder stripes completely divided.


Immature females are similar in pattern to males but are usually blue instead of green. Blue females are rare in the north where they are mainly green like the male. Mature females become gray and are very similar to mature Eastern Forktails. However the "exclamation mark" usually remains visible. Fragile Forktail females lack the vulvar spine that the Eastern Forktail have.