Dragonflies (order Odonata) are divided into two distinct sub-orders, the Zygoptera or Damselflies and the Anisoptera or Dragonflies. Please use the filters on our identification tool below to find your species.
- Different species are on the wing at different times of the year. This can help you narrow down the list of potential species that you could have sighted.
- Make sure you check the distribution and habitat of the species. Some species can only be found in certain parts of the country or in very specific habitats.
- The colour of adult dragonflies changes with age. Tenerals (newly emerged adults) can appear very pale and may not have their mature colouration yet. You may have to look closely for any emerging markings or patterns to help identify it. Similarly very mature adults can appear much darker.
If you spot a dragonfly that you can’t identify try and take well-focused photos from above and the side.
For a quick response share them with the BDS community on Facebook.
You can also send them to us at
Pleas crop your photo attachments. Bear in mind our volunteers are very busy so it might take a while for a response.
Title image: Beautiful Demoiselle by Mike Smethurst