Description

Large metallic damselfly with fluttering, butterfly-like wings.

 

Male: metallic blue body with dark wings.

Female: metallic green-bronze body with translucent pale brown wings.

 

 

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Latin NameCalopteryx virgo
Habitat

Mainly found along streams and rivers, particularly those with sand or gravel bottoms. The males rest on bank side vegetation waiting for females.

Status & Distribution

Locally abundant.

Mostly found west of a line between Liverpool and Folkestone, and in southern Ireland.

Similar Species

The Banded Demoiselle is the only other British damselfly with coloured wings but the males only have partly coloured wings and the females have green-tinged wings.

Beware! Internet searches tends to find related American species such as the Ebony Jewelwing (Calopteryx maculata), also known as the Black-winged Damselfly, but such species do not occur in Europe and have never been known to cross the Atlantic.

Species GroupDamselflies
Identification Notes
  • Length: 45mm
  • Male: metallic blue body with dark wings.
  • Female: metallic green-bronze body with translucent pale brown wings.
Flight PeriodBeautiful Demoiselle
Larval Information

Demoiselle larvae have long bodies, short spikey caudal llamellae and long ‘horn-like’ antennae.

Prominant ‘occipital tooth’ behind each eye.

Single pale band on the caudal lamellae.

Only Banded Demoiselle are similar in appearance.

Similar Species