Description

Weak flying rare Scottish species.

Male: blue and black. “spades” symbol marking at top of the abdomen (varies).

Female: distinctly green from the side but mostly black from above.

 

 

 

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Where to See

Weight1
Latin NameCoenagrion hastulatum
Habitat

This species is restricted in the UK to sedge-fringed lochans in the Scottish Highlands.

Threats
  • Climate change; increasing temperatures and erratic rainfall threaten the species bog pool habitat.
  • Ditch installation and drainage.
  • Peat cutting.
  • Forestation of the uplands.
Status & Distribution

Rare and local.

This species is restricted in the UK to the Scottish Highlands.

This is a Red Data Book species.

Similar Species

Only two other species of blue/green and black damselflies share their range with the Northern Damselfly

Common Blue Damselfly

  • No coenagrion spur.
  • Thicker antehumeral stripes on the thorax instead of thin.
  • Male: button shaped marking instead of a spade shaped marking.

Azure Damselfly

  • Rarely in Northern Damselfly range.
  • Male: ‘U’ shaped marking instead of a spade shaped marking.
  • Females: some have blue markings. Pronotum is tri-lobed instead of having a blunt point.

 

This species is easily confused with the other members of the genus Coenagrion and with the Common Blue Damselfly Enallagma cyathigerum . Look at S2 (on the males) for distinguishing characters. Northern Damselfly is a weak flyer and has a very restricted range. The females can be particularly tricky to distinguish apart.

Management

Northern Damselfly Management Profile

Species GroupDamselflies
Identification Notes
  • Length: 31mm
  • Face and eyes are bright green on the bottom.
  • Thin antehumeral stripes on the back of the thorax
  • Coenagrion spur.
  • Male: blue and black. “spades” symbol at top of abdomen (varies). Segments 8 and 9 (near the bottom of the abdomen) are completely blue apart from 2 small black spots.
  • Female: distinctly green from the side but mostly black from above.
Flight PeriodNorthern Damselfly
Larval Information

Antennae with 6 segments.

Prominent spotting on the head.

Caudal lamellae long and narrow with distinct, dark nodal constriction and dark nodal lines.

Similar Species

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