These are the 3 possible species of Emerald Dragonfly plus 1 species which has gone extinct in the UK

 These are very similar. Be aware that immature specimens will differ

Click on an image to enlarge




Downy Emerald

Distribution: scarce and local

Both: metallic bronze-green thorax and bright green eyes and a bulbous tip to the abdomen

Flight Period: April to August

Brilliant Emerald

Distribution: Scarce and local in south-east England and 2 locations in Scotland

Both: Bright green eyes and metallic green body. A yellow U-shaped marking between eyes on front of the face.

Male: slightly bulbous tip of abdomen

Female: parallel sided abdomen

Flight Period: May to September

Northern Emerald

Distribution:  rare and local peat bog specialist found only in west Scotland.

Both: a green abdomen but much darker. Two yellow spots on face and yellow spots on the abdomen.

Male: with a bulbous tip of the abdomen and distinctive calliper-shaped anal appendages. 

Female: parallel sided abdomen

Flight Period: June to August (sometimes May to September)

Orange-spotted Emerald

Distribution: previously in Devon and Hampshire but extinct in the UK since 1963.

Both: green body with yellow or orange elongated spots down abdomen. 

Flight Period: June to July in the UK (June to August in Europe where it is still found)


Images from top, left to right: David Kitching, Kees Waterlander,  L. B. Tettenborn, Pierre Papon, Ewoud van der Ploeg, Dave Ashton , G.H. Mahoney, P J Simpson