Dragonfly Guide

Ischnura genei

(Rambur, 1842)

Island bluetail

Ischnura genei
Ischnura genei, male. Corsica, France. 2014
Photo: L. B. TettenbornCreative Commons CCCreative Commons BYCreative Commons SA


Closely related to Ischnura elegans which it replaces on the Tyrrhenian islands west of the Italian mainland, and on Malta. It is also very like I. saharensis structurally.

The colour of the face, thorax and abdomen is never blue but always green (although a turquoise tinge develops in full maturity). Females of all colour forms may have black markings on S8. Mature females without antehumeral black stripes may be confused with the co-existing I. pumilio, but the relative size in pterostigma is discriminatory, that in the forewing is larger in I. pumilio



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Distribution map. Data from gbif.org

Ischnura genei is an endemic to the Tuscan archipelago and the Tyrrhenian and Maltese islands, and is common and widespread within its range. It is absent from mainland Europe and replaces I. elegans on the above islands, except in Giglio, where both species cohabit. A male and female were caught on the Italian island of Linosa, between the Maltese islands and the Tunisian coast, in 2010. Whether they belonged to a local population breeding in the few man-made water tanks present on the island or were vagrants are unknown.


Ischnura genei breeds in all kinds of standing waters and sometimes in slow-flowing rivers and ditches up to 1 000 m. This species usually frequents water bodies rich in surrounding vegetation. Like I. elegans, it is capable of breeding in waters with relatively high salinities, and larvae have been recorded from brackish waters.


  • Atlas of the European Dragonflies and Damselflies, Jean-Pierre Boudot(Editor), Vincent J Kalkman(Editor), Fons Peels(Illustrator)

  • Field guide to the dragonflies of Britain and Europe, Klaas-Douwe B Dijkstra.