Odonata (Zygoptera) - Damselflies

Damselflies are smaller than dragonflies, and mostly rest with wings with wings folded along the abdomen. Larvae are aquatic predators.

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Banded Demoiselle Calopteryx splendens (Harris, 1780)

Calopteryx splendens
  • Male, Stourbridge Common, Cambridge TL467597. 8 July 2014.
  • Family Calopterygidae.
  • Females have metallic green bodies and no wing bands.
  • NBN Atlas


Azure Damselfly Coenagrion puella (Linnaeus, 1758)

Coenagrion puella
  • Male. Cambridge - Barnwell East Nature Reserve TL479583; 29 July 2014
  • Family Coenagrionidae.
  • The U-shaped mark on abdominal segment 2 is distinctive of this species
  • NBN Atlas


Common Blue Damselfly Enallagma cyathigerum (Charpentier 1840)

Enallagma cyathigerum
  • Male, Cambridge, Trumpington Meadows TL432542, 29 June 2015.
  • Males have abdominal segments 8 & 9 entirely blue. On segment is a round mark, usually attached by a stalk to a transverse line.
  • NBN Atlas
Enallagma cyathigerum
  • Female, Cambridge, Gwydir Street 29 June 2001.
  • Arrowed features: the shape of the hind margin of the pronotum, and the spine underneath segment 8, distiguish this from other blue female damselflies.


Blue-tailed Damselfly Ischnura elegans (Vander Linden, 1823)

Ischnura elegans
  • Cambridge Science Park TL464617; 26 Jun 2002
  • NBN Atlas


Large Red Damselfly Pyrrhosoma nymphula (Sulzer, 1776)

Pyrrhosoma nymphula


Willow Emerald Damselfly Chalcolestes viridis (Vander Linden, 1825)

Chalcolestes viridis Chalcolestes viridis
  • Cambridge - Adams Road Sanctuary TL437586; 15 Sep 2015
  • Family Lestidae. These rest with wings at 45 to the body, unlike other Zygoptera.
  • This species is a recent arrival in the UK and has been establishing itself in Suffolk and parts of Norfolk and Essex since 2009. The first confirmed records for Cambridgeshire seem to have been in 2014.
  • Unlike the established Emerald (Lestes sponsa) and Scarce Emerald (L. dryas), mature males lack blue frosting, and have pale pterostigmata.
  • The inferior anal appendages (second photo) are much shorter than in the Lestes spp.
  • NBN Atlas (probably out of date)


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