Description

Very similar to the more common Blue-tailed Damselfly.

Male: mostly black with a small blue patch on segments 8 and 9 at the end of the abdomen.

Female: mostly black and green-brown or blue underneath.

Immature female: bright orange.

 

Where to See

Weight1
Latin NameIschnura pumilio
Habitat

Usually found in shallow wetland sites such as bog pools or slow flowing water, fed by seepages and flushes.

It appears to prefer early successional habitats with minimal vegetation, although some emergent plants are required at breeding sites.

A common feature of most sites is a degree of habitat disturbance, which maintains bare substrate, and the openness of the vegetation.

Status & Distribution

Classed as nationally scarce in the British Red Data Book of Insects. At the turn of the century it was thought to be extinct, but in recent times has shown some range expansion.
In Britain it is most numerous in southwest counties of England and Wales, but there are additional sites scattered across Britain and Ireland. Isolated colonies exist in Gloucestershire, Wiltshire, Oxfordshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Bedfordshire.

Similar Species

Blue-tailed Damselfly

  • Coloured abdomen spot higher up on segment 8

Red-eyed Damselfly

  • Pale brown pterostigma (wing spots).
  • Male: Red eyes and no antehumeral stripes.
  • Female: Brown-red eyes and short antehumeral stripes.

Small Red-eyed Damselfly

  • Pale brown pterostigma (wing spots).
  • Male: Red eyes and incomplete antehumeral stripes.
  • Female: Coenagrion spur on the side of the thorax.
Species GroupDamselflies
Identification Notes
  • Length: 26-31mm
  • Two-toned pterostigma (wing spots).
  • Two thin antehumeral stripes on the thorax.
  • Male: mostly black with a small blue patch on segments 8 and 9 (at the end of the abdomen) which contains two small black markings. The sides of the thorax are blue or green.
  • Female: mostly black and either green-brown or blue underneath.
  • Immature female: bright orange (aurantiaca phase).

 

Flight PeriodScarce Blue-tailed Damselfly
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