Banded demoiselle Calopteryx splendens


Best time to see: Jun to mid Sep

Key facts

Graceful large damselfly with butterfly-like flight; male has distinctive banded wings

Habitat: slow-flowing, mud-bottomed streams, rivers and canals, and nearby meadows; occasionally ponds

Common in southern part of England and throughout most of Ireland

Recognition

Male has metallic blue-green body with dark patches on wings and dark red eyes; body up to 50mm, wingspan up to 72mm

Similar-sized female has metallic green body with a green tint across the whole of the wings

Usually seen in graceful, flitting flight over emergent vegetation, or perched on a stem with wings foldedr

Lifecycle

Females lay eggs individually into the tissue of a wide range of aquatic plants, guarded by the male

Larvae overwinter in muddy bottoms, usually for 2 years, travelling up to 100m to shrubs and trees to emerge as adults

  • Main photo
  • female

Photo © Ken King

Photo © Tony Gunton