Vivid Dancer (Argia vivida Hagen) is a medium-sized (body length 29.5?35.0 mm), bright blue to violet damselfly with black markings. In Canada, Vivid Dancer ranges from Banff, Alberta west through the southern half of British Columbia (BC) to the westernmost occurrence at Meager Creek outside of Pemberton.
Vivid Dancer was designated as Special Concern by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) in May 2015, and was listed under Schedule 1 of the federal Species at Risk Act (SARA) in February 2019. In British Columbia, Vivid Dancer is ranked S2S3 (imperiled-special concern and vulnerable to extirpation or extinction) and is on the provincial Blue List. In Alberta, Vivid Dancer is ranked as S2 (imperiled). The species is the only documented odonate adapted to breed in geothermal springs in North America, and many of its Canadian subpopulations are associated with thermal springs. However, in the hot valleys of the Okanagan and the Fraser River canyon, and one spring in Banff National Park, it is also found in cool, spring-fed creeks. As of 2020, Vivid Dancer had been recorded from a total of 33 subpopulations in Canada; 27 extant, 4 historical, and 2 unconfirmed. There are multiple sites in Banff National Park, some of which are unconfirmed and historical, however the overall subpopulation is extant. There is little information on subpopulation size or abundance of each extant subpopulation.
Vivid Dancer has three life stages (i.e., egg, nymph, and adult) and a life cycle that is partly aquatic and partly terrestrial. Vivid Dancer begins its life as an egg that has been laid within an aquatic environment. The egg hatches into a small gill-breathing nymph that lives for up to 3 years in its aquatic environment (nymphs grow faster in warmer water habitats). During this time, the nymph moults up to a dozen times; each time it gets a little bigger until its last moult, during which it emerges as a teneral adult with fully developed wings. Adults are aerial/terrestrial foragers and emerge from their aquatic environment from late April through mid-October, during which time the adults mate. The females lay fertilized eggs in aquatic habitats, and the life cycle begins again.
The predominant threats to extant subpopulations in British Columbia are habitat loss and degradation at most thermal spring habitats. The species is threatened by intensive recreational use of thermal springs (e.g., bathing, water diversion for pool creation), livestock trampling at cool springs, and potential predation by introduced aquatic species. Subpopulations are also vulnerable to infrastructure construction for tourism development (e.g., hotel complexes) and changes in springs caused by events such as droughts. In Alberta, all Vivid Dancer subpopulations are within Banff National Park and receive protection under the Canada National Parks Act. Most of the Vivid Dancer sites in Banff National Park are within areas that are permanently closed, which reduces the number of threats that have to be to be mitigated.
The management (subpopulation and distribution) goal is to improve the redundancy of Vivid Dancer at all extant subpopulations (some with multiple sites) in Canada (including any additional sites that may be identified in the future) by ceasing or mitigating human-caused threats that result in the loss of area, extent, and/or quality of suitable habitat.
Ministry of Environment and Climate Change, Heron, J.. 2020. Management Plan for Vivid Dancer (Argia vivida) in British Columbia and Alberta. Province of BC, Ministry of Environment and Climate Change. Management Plan (Species at Risk)
Topic: Recovery Planning
Keywords: Vivid Dancer
Fraser River Canyon
argia vivida Hagen
Scientific Name: Argia vivida
English Name: Vivid Dancer
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