Smaller of the two red Damselfly species with reddish legs, eyes and wing spots.

Male: Black thorax and red abdomen.

Female: Black thorax and red/black abdomen.



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Species GroupDamselflies
Scientific NameCeriagrion tenellum
Status & Distribution

Listed as Nationally Scarce in the British Odonata Red List 2008.

Restricted to heathlands in southern England and west Wales.


Found in shallow pools, seepages and streams in heathland bog in southern England and west Wales.

Flight PeriodSmall Red Damselfly
Adult Identification
  • Length: 31mm
  • Red legs.
  • Red pterostigma (wing spots).
  • Thorax bronze-black on top and pale yellow on the side.
  • Male: red abdomen.
  • Female: Erythrogastrum form has an all red abdomen. Typica form has a red and black abdomen. Melanogastrum form has a black abdomen.
Larval Information

Squat, 11-12mm.

Short caudal lamellae with dark veins.

Hind margin of head distinctly angular.

  • Alterations of hydrology, such as drainage that diverts water away from existing seepages and flushes.
  • Habitat loss and fragmentation.
  • Unmanaged sites succumb to plant succession and encroachment.
Similar Species

Large Red Damselfly

  • Larger
  • Black legs.
  • Black pterostigma (wing spots).
  • Larger coloured antehumeral stripes on top of the thorax.

Similar Species