Banded Demoiselle - Calopteryx splendens

Adult size

Length: 45 – 48 mm   Hindwing Length: 27 – 36mm

Distinguishing features

The Banded Demoiselle is one of two species of damselfies with heavily pigmented wings and in males are distinctly banded. Can be found in similar riverine habitat as the Beautiful demoiselle.

Indentification - for help with terms see glossary

Mature Males

Have a metallic blue-green abdomen, the wings have a very distinctive iridescent blue-black central wing band which gives the species its name.

Immature Males

The wings have a paler band often brown/green in colour. Eyes are brown.

Mature Females

Mature females have usually a metallic green abdomen, but can also more rarely have a bronzy addomen. Wings are a pale bronze/amber colour which can be confused with immature female Beautiful Demoiselle's.

Immature females

Have very pale yellow wings and brown eyes.


Mainly found along slow-flowing lowland streams and rivers, particularly those with muddy bottoms often with open bankside vegetation. Can be found in slower moving open areas of same river systems as Beautiful Demoiselle.


Both males are females have a delicate butterfly like flight. Males are territorial and patrol bankside vegetation and will often perch on water lilies. Females are most likely to be found away from water unless breeding. Both males and females will stray away from open water to feed.

Status and distribution

Locally abundant along slow moving sections of clean unpolluted rivers in Dorset with emergent bankside vegetation e.g. River Stour & River Allen where the areas are less shaded.

Flight period

Main flight period is Early May to end August.

Similar species

The Beautiful Demoiselle  is the only other British damselfly with pigmented wings.

More photographs

Click on the photos below to enlarge...


 Adult Male

Adult Female 

Immature Male 

Mating Pair 

All photographs by kind permission & © of Ken Dolbear unless otherwise stated. All rights reserved.