Where to See Scarce Emerald Damselfly

Latin NameLestes dryas

Usually found within the dense vegetation of shallow pools and drainage channels.

On the coastal and estuarine marshes in Kent and Essex populations also use the borrow dykes as well as ditches and marsh pools where they show a tolerance of brackish water.

Breeding sites are well vegetated with submerged and emergent vegetation.

  • Over abstraction.
  • Eutrophication.
  • Over-grazing.
  • Climate change causing drought or coastal flooding.
  • Lack of management leading to successional habitat change.
Status & Distribution

Listed as Near Threatened in the British Odonata Red List 2008.
The species has localised strongholds in south-east England. There are also a few scattered colonies at other locations in East Anglia.

Similar Species

Emerald Damselfly

  • Narrower pterostigma (wing spots).
  • Male: Narrow inferior appendages.
  • Female: Ovipositor reaches past end of the abdomen. Two square spots on segment 1 near the top of the abdomen.

Southern Emerald Damselfly 

  • Two-toned pterostigma (wing spots).
  • Male: no blue colouration and green eyes.

Willow Emerald Damselfly

  • Pale brown pterostigma (wing spots).
  • Male: no blue colouration and green eyes.
Species GroupDamselflies