The British Dragonfly Society’s Revised List of Odonata recorded in the United Kingdom

The Odonata lists presented below follow the taxonomic sequence of Schorr and Paulson (2013).


Table 1. Category A: resident and/or regular migrant species recorded since 2000

This category comprises species with well-established breeding populations and migrant species that have been recorded regularly since 2000, the latter often attempting to establish temporary breeding populations.     (nc = no change in name)

Scientific name British and Irish name European common name
Chalcolestes viridis Willow Emerald Damselfly Western Willow Spreadwing
Lestes barbarus Southern Emerald Damselfly Migrant Spreadwing
Lestes dryas Scarce Emerald Damselfly Robust Spreadwing
Lestes sponsa Emerald Damselfly Common Spreadwing
Calopteryx splendens Banded Demoiselle nc
Calopteryx virgo Beautiful Demoiselle nc
Platycnemis pennipes White-legged Damselfly Blue Featherleg
Ceriagrion tenellum Small Red Damselfly Small Red Damsel
Coenagrion hastulatum Northern Damselfly Spearhead Bluet
Coenagrion lunulatum Irish Damselfly Crescent Bluet
Coenagrion mercuriale Southern Damselfly Mercury Bluet
Coenagrion puella Azure Damselfly Azure Bluet
Coenagrion pulchellum Variable Damselfly Variable Bluet
Coenagrion scitulum Dainty Damselfly Dainty Bluet
Enallagma cyathigerum Common Blue Damselfly Common Bluet
Erythromma najas Red-eyed Damselfly Large Redeye
Erythromma viridulum Small Red-eyed Damselfly Small Redeye
Ischnura elegans Blue-tailed Damselfly Common Bluetail
Ischnura pumilio Scarce Blue-tailed Damselfly Small Bluetail
Pyrrhosoma nymphula Large Red Damselfly Large Red Damsel
Aeshna affinis Southern Migrant Hawker Blue-eyed Hawker
Aeshna caerulea Azure Hawker nc
Aeshna cyanea Southern Hawker Blue Hawker
Aeshna grandis Brown Hawker nc
Aeshna isoceles Norfolk Hawker Green-eyed Hawker
Aeshna juncea Common Hawker Moorland Hawker
Aeshna mixta Migrant Hawker nc
Anax ephippiger Vagrant Emperor nc
Anax imperator Emperor Dragonfly Blue Emperor
Anax parthenope Lesser Emperor nc
Brachytron pratense Hairy Dragonfly Hairy Hawker
Gomphus vulgatissimus Common Clubtail nc
Cordulegaster boltonii Golden-ringed Dragonfly Common Goldenring
Cordulia aenea Downy Emerald nc
Somatochlora arctica Northern Emerald nc
Somatochlora metallica Brilliant Emerald nc
Leucorrhinia dubia White-faced Darter Small Whiteface
Libellula depressa Broad-bodied Chaser nc
Libellula fulva Scarce Chaser Blue Chaser
Libellula quadrimaculata Four-spotted Chaser nc
Orthetrum cancellatum Black-tailed Skimmer nc
Orthetrum coerulescens Keeled Skimmer nc
Sympetrum danae Black Darter nc
Sympetrum fonscolombii Red-veined Darter nc
Sympetrum sanguineum Ruddy Darter nc
Sympetrum striolatum* Common Darter* nc

* – includes dark specimens in the north-west formerly treated as a separate species, Highland Darter Sympetrum nigrescens.   46 species now in Category A + 10 in Category B


Table 2. Category B: vagrant species

Since 1998 records of these species have been assessed by the Odonata Rarities Committee.

Scientific name British and Irish name European common name
Sympecma fusca Winter Damselfly Common Winter Damsel
Anax junius Green Darner Common Green Darner
Stylurus flavipes River Clubtail River Clubtail
Somatochlora flavomaculata Yellow-spotted Emerald nc
Leucorrhinia pectoralis Large White-faced Darter Yellow-spotted Whiteface
Crocothemis erythraea** Scarlet Darter** Broad Scarlet
Pantala flavescens Wandering Glider nc
Sympetrum flaveolum Yellow-winged Darter nc
Sympetrum pedemontanum Banded Darter nc
Sympetrum vulgatum Vagrant Darter Moustached Darter

** has bred in the Channel Islands.


Table 3. Category C: former breeding species now locally extinct in the UK

Any further records of these species will be assessed by the Odonata Records Committee.

Scientific name British and Irish name European common name
Coenagrion armatum Norfolk Damselfly Dark Bluet
Oxygastra curtisii Orange-spotted Emerald nc


Table 4. Category D: species recorded only in the Channel Islands

Scientific name British and Irish name European common name
Orthetrum brunneum Southern Skimmer nc
Sympetrum meridionale Southern Darter nc


Table 5. Category E: exotic species introduced accidentally  

These records have come principally from aquatic nurseries (Parr, 2000).

Argia fumipennis Variable Dancer
Ceriagrion cerinorubellum Painted Waxtail
Enallagma signatum Orange Bluet
Ischnura posita Fragile Forktail
Ischnura senegalensis Marsh Bluetail
Anax gibbosulus Green Emperor
Anax guttatus Lesser Green Emperor
Crocothemis servilia Oriental Scarlet
Erythemis simplicicollis Eastern Pondhawk
Rhodothemis rufa Spine-legged Redbolt
Tramea transmarina euryale Ocean Glider
Urothemis bisignata


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Image by Andre Karwath