Lestes barbarus

Southern Emerald Damselfly

Latin Name: 

Lestes barbarus

Taxon Version Key: 





Lestidae - Emerald damselflies

Length: 40-45mm

This damselfly is metallic green, becoming bronze as it ages. It has relatively broad, pale ante-humeral stripes on the thorax, and a pale back to the head. At rest, the Southern Emerald spreads its wings at a wide angle to the body. The pterostigma is bi-coloured. Males become pruinescent only on abdominal segment S10.



Still, shallow, waters; will tolerate brackish conditions. Seems to favour dune slacks and other coastal sites in our area, though has occurred inland.

Status & Distribution: 

Migrant from Northern Europe, possibly the Netherlands where it has increased recently. First observed in July 2002 in Norfolk. Also in the Channel Islands since 1995. Now occurs almost annually, and has been proven (2018) to breed.

Similar species: 

Other members of the Lestes genus are quite similar but L. sponsa is by far the most likely to be found in the UK.

Identification Notes: 

  • This is a vagrant dragonfly species, please attach an image when submitting the record



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