Belongs to: damselflies

Compare with: azure damselfly

Common blue damselfly Enallagma cyathigerum

Best time to see: mid May to late Sep

Key facts

A bright blue damselfly, one of the commonest in Britain

Habitat: a wide variety, including gravel pits, lakes, ponds, slow rivers and canals

Common in all parts of Britain and Ireland, and also widespread across Europe


Male is sky-blue and black with an oval spot on thorax segment 2; females blue, brown or grey with bomb-shaped marks

Fly fast and low over still or slow-flowing water; perch at the water's edge or, in dull weather, in vegetation


Females lay eggs on surface or submerged vegetation, either in tandem with the male or alone

Larvae live among submerged vegetation, taking one year to develop in the south but longer in the north

Larvae emerge during warm days any time from May through to late summer

© Tony Gunton

© Andy McGeeney

© Laurie Forsyth