Length: 38mm

This damselfly is metallic green. The male develops a blue pruinescence on segments 1, 2, 9 and 10 as it matures. The female is thicker bodied than the male with no blue pruinescence. The ovipositor just reaches the tip of segment 10. The Emerald Damselfly rests with its wings spread at about 45° to the body. The elongated pterostigma is dark brown to black.

Where to See

Latin NameLestes sponsa

Still waters, may be found in pondside rushes or reeds.

Status & Distribution

Locally common throughout Britain and Ireland.

Similar Species

Other Lestes species are similar. See Scarce Emerald Damselfly (L. dryas) for distinguishing characters.

Species GroupDamselflies
Identification Notes
  • Metallic green body like demoiselle but much smaller with clear wings
  • Will rest with wings half spread
  • Prefers tall waterside vegetation, especially rushes and sedges
  • July – early September