Small Red damselfly - Ceriagrion tenellum
Adult SizeLength: 22 - 27mm Hindwing Length: 15 – 21mm
Distinguishing featuresOne of the two red damselflies. Small & delicate compared to Large Red Damselfly. Has all red legs and red wing spots. Females have 3 variable forms.
Identification - for help with terms see glossary
HabitatPreferred breeding habitats are mires, bogs, seeps and acidic ponds and often associated with bog mosses. Often associated with heaths where they can be very common. Often found in similar habitat to Emerald Damselfly.
BehaviourHas a very weak delicate flight and despite bright colouration can be very well camouflaged as they tend to stay among dense vegetation near water. Neither males nor females stray far from breeding areas.
Status and distributionRestricted to southern England and Wales. Locally abundant in preferred habitat. Very common on heathland pools in Dorset but restricted elsewhere.
Flight periodMain flight period is late June to Mid September, peaking in July.
The only other red damselfly is Large Red Damselfly, which is larger, has black wing spots, black legs & thick red or yellow antehumeral stripes on the thorax.
Click on the photos below to enlarge...
All photographs by kind permission & © of Ken Dolbear unless otherwise stated. All rights reserved.