This Pacific Forktail was more straightforward to identify compared to the previous one. Forktails (genus Iscnura) are so-called for a a small structure at the tip of the abdomen in males and are tiny and often brightly colored. This one is about an inch long, and in addition blue markings, you may notice four blue dots. Pacific Forktails and Plains Forktails (Ischnura damula) are the only Rocky Mountain forktails having four blue dots on top of the black thorax. To tell them apart you need to examine the appendages on the end of the abdomen and compare the Pacific’s larger forked projection with the smaller one on the Plains. Their respective ranges can also help you decide. The Plains is generally absent in Montana.
This damselfly has a long flight period that extends into October. Adults begin to emerge in May and continue through summer. Males perch in and near thickly vegetated areas near water.
Photo by: Kelly Dix on 6/27/21 at the Lee Metcalf National Wildlife Refuge near Stevensville, MT