Small Red-eyed Damselfly - Erythromma viridulum
Adult SizeOverall length: 26 - 32mm Hindwing length: 16 - 20mm
Distinguishing featuresVery similar to Red-eyed Damselfly in habitat choice and behaviour but significantly smaller and daintier looking but could therefore by easily overlooked and under-recorded. Great care should be taken with the identification of this species. A very recent coloniser of Britain from Europe first recorded in 1999 in Essex.
Identification - for help with terms see glossary
HabitatFound in similar habitat to Red-eyed Damselfly, still water habitats such as lakes, ponds, gravel pits, canals and ditches, which contain floating vegetation such as pondweed and algae.
BehaviourMales will often be associated with floating leaves or pond weed where they will wait for passing females
Status and distribution
First found in Essex, it has spread remarkably quickly to the rest of East Anglia and the south east and is slowly moving north and to the west. Found at just a couple of sites so far in Dorset so worth looking out for.
Flight periodMain flight period is mid June to September, peaking in August, usually after peak of Red-eyed Damselfly.
Similar speciesThe similar, but larger and commoner Red-eyed Damselfly is sometimes found in the same habitat and careful observation is needed to distinguish the two species. Could be confused with the Blue-tailed Damselflies, but these although having blue tails do not have red eyes.
More photographsClick on the photos below to enlarge...
All photographs by kind permission & © of Ken Dolbear unless otherwise stated. All rights reserved.