Belongs to: damselflies

Compare with: emerald damselfly

Scarce emerald damselfly Lestes dryas

close to extinction

Best time to see: Jul to end Jul

Key facts

A rare metallic-green damselfly restricted to fens and coastal marshes

Habitat: pools, marshes and ditches with abundant emergent vegetation

Rare and localised in Britain – only in Essex, Kent and Norfolk; otherwise widespread across northern hemisphere


Male is metallic green with blue eyes, a blue 'tail' and broad brown claspers; female has squarish spots on segment 2 of the abdomen

Perches with wings half open within dense vegetation

Fly between July and August, feeding on small insects such as flies and midges


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 two years

Larvae travel long distances to emerge as adults, to shrubs and trees up to 100m away

© Robin Chittenden

© Andy McGeeney

© Mike Wright