Small Red Damselfly

Ceriagrion tenellum

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Length: 31mm

One of our smallest damselflies, this is one of only two red damselfly species in the UK. The male has an all red abdomen. The female exists in several colour forms varying in the amount of red and black on the abdomen from nearly all black in f. melanogastrum to an uncommon red form, erythrogastrum. Both sexes have a bronze-black thorax and red legs and pterostigma.

Flight Period: June (May) - August (September)


Squat with broad and short caudal lamellae with dark veins. Hind margin of head distinctivly angular. 


Found in shallow pools, seepages and streams in heathland bog.

Status & Distribution

Rare. Restricted to heathlands in southern England and west Wales.

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Similar species

The only other red damselfly in the UK is the Large Red Damselfly. The Large Red has black legs and pterostigma and the male never has an entirely red abdomen.