Dainty Damselfly

Coenagrion scitulum

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Description

Length: 32mm

Flight period: June to July

Both sexes appear yellowish when viewed from the underside. The pale brown pterostigma is longer than in other Coenagrion species.

Male: segment 2 has a "wine-goblet" shaped mark, occasionally reduced to a bar or crescent. Segment 8 is blue but segment 9 has black markings towards the rear. Segment 6 and segment 7 are entirely black.

Female: blue with black "rocket-shaped" markings on the abdomen.

Habitat

Open but well-vegetated waters. It can tolerate some salinity.

Status & Distribution

Found in Essex during 1946–1952, when its known breeding sites were then destroyed during the catastrophic floods of winter 1952–53. Recently (June 2010) re-discovered in Kent, where apparently breeding (two exuviae found).

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Similar species

This species is easily confused with the other members of the genus Coenagrion and with the Common Blue Damselfly Enallagma cyathigerum . Look at S2 (on the males) for distinguishing characters. The females can be particularly tricky to distinguish apart.