Description

Rare emerald damselfly species.

Male: Blue eyes and bright metallic green with blue coloration on segment 1 and part of segment 2 near the top of the abdomen.

Female: Brown eyes and dull metallic green.

Where to See

Weight1
Latin NameLestes dryas
Habitat

Usually found within the dense vegetation of shallow pools and drainage channels.

On the coastal and estuarine marshes in Kent and Essex populations also use the borrow dykes as well as ditches and marsh pools where they show a tolerance of brackish water.

Breeding sites are well vegetated with submerged and emergent vegetation.

Status & Distribution

It is a rare and local species, recognised as vulnerable by the UK statutory conservation agencies.

It is listed under Category 2 (vulnerable) in the British Red Data Book on Insects.
In Britain the species has strongholds on the coastal and estuarine marshes of Essex and North Kent and in the Norfolk Brecklands. There are also a few scattered colonies at other locations in East Anglia.

Similar Species

Emerald Damselfly

  • Narrower pterostigma (wing spots).
  • Male: Narrow inferior appendages.
  • Female: Ovipositor reaches past end of the abdomen. Two square spots on segment 2¬† near the top of the abdomen.

Southern Emerald Damselfly 

  • Two-toned pterostigma (wing spots).
  • Male: no blue coloration and green eyes.

Willow Emerald Damselfly

  • Pale brown pterostigma (wing spots).
  • Male: no blue coloration and green eyes.
Management Fact File/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/lestes-dryas.pdf
Species GroupDamselflies
Identification Notes
  • Length: Male: 37mm; Female: 34mm
  • Dark broad pterostigma (wing spots).
  • Male: Blue eyes and bright metallic green with blue coloration on segment 1 and part of segment 2 near the top of the abdomen.
  • Female: Brown eyes and dull metallic green.
  • Rests with wings half-spread.
Flight PeriodScarce Emerald Damselfly
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