Red-eyed damselfly Erythromma najas


Best time to see: Jun to end Jul

Key facts

A distinctive damselfly with (for the male) blood-red eyes

Habitat: slow-moving or still water with plenty of floating vegetation

Locally common across southern Britain, except for the south-west

Recognition

Males have a dark abdomen with a blue tip; the female's eyes are brownish-red and it lacks the blue tip to the abdomen

Spend much of their time perched on floating vegetation, and fly powerfully low over the water

Peak numbers are during June and July, feeding on small insects such as flies and midges

Lifecycle

Mate in tandem, the females laying eggs both into water and bankside vegetation

Larvae overwinter in muddy bottoms, usually for two years

  • Main photo

Photo © Tony Gunton