Belongs to: damselflies

Compare with: scarce emerald damselfly

Emerald damselfly Lestes sponsa

Best time to see: late Jun to end Sep

Key facts

A metallic green damselfly found in dense vegetation around shallow pools and ditches

Habitat: pools, marshes and ditches with plenty of emergent vegetation

Throughout the British Isles, and from Ireland in the west to Japan in the east


Male is metallic green with blue eyes and a blue 'tail'; female has pear- shaped spots on segment 2 of the abdomen

Perches with wings half open; weak fluttery flight

Fly late June to September but most numerous in July and August, feeding on small insects such as flies and midges


Female lays eggs into the stems of rushes, sedges and horsetails, usually in tandem with the male

Larvae overwinter in muddy bottoms, emerging the following April

Larvae start to emerge in late June and adults live unusually long – sometimes over two months

© Tony Gunton

© Tony Gunton

© Andy McGeeney