Hairy green-copper dragonfly and bright apple green eyes.

Males: Thin waist and club-shaped abdomen.

Females: Thicker abdomen.


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Where to See

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Species GroupDragonflies
Scientific NameCordulia aenea
Status & Distribution

It has a scattered distribution from Devon to the highlands of Scotland, although it has a stronghold in the south-east of England.



A pond within or close to deciduous woodland with scattered bankside trees, sparse stands of emergent vegetation and a carpet of leaf litter on the pond floor will offer the best conditions for breeding.


Flight PeriodDowny Emerald
Adult Identification
  • Length: 48mm
  • Hairy thorax.
  • Metallic green-copper body.
  • Bright apple green eyes.
  • Males: Thin waist and club-shaped abdomen.
  • Females: Thicker abdomen.
Larval Information

Emerald Dragonfly larvae have a squat spider-like body-shape similar to Chaser, Skimmers and Darters, but significantly longer back legs.


Two dark stripes on the side of the thorax.

Dorsal spines on the abdomen not as large as that of Brilliant Emerald.

  • Habitat loss and fragmentation
  • Inappropriate habitat management.
  • Introduction of fish.
  • Pollution.
  • Changes in the hydrology of the sites.

Downy Emerald Management Profile

General management principles include undertaking survey and research work, careful habitat management ensuring sites are not over managed, and maintenance of water levels. There are also best practice guidelines for managing inhabited sites, including physical habitat management, management of aquatic and terrestrial vegetation and habitat restoration and recreation.

Similar Species

The Brilliant Emerald and Northern Emerald are similar but not as hairy.

Case Study

Management has been undertaken at Burnham Beeches 'Top Pond' with the aim of controlling the growth of Bogbean and expanding suitable habitat for the Downy Emerald.