Red-eyed damselfly Erythromma najas

Best time to see: Jun to end Jul

Key facts

A distinctive damselfly with (for the male) blood-red eyes

Habitat: slow-moving or still water with plenty of floating vegetation

Locally common across southern Britain, except for the south-west


Males have a dark abdomen with a blue tip; the female's eyes are brownish-red and it lacks the blue tip to the abdomen

Spend much of their time perched on floating vegetation, and fly powerfully low over the water

Peak numbers are during June and July, feeding on small insects such as flies and midges


Mate in tandem, the females laying eggs both into water and bankside vegetation

Larvae overwinter in muddy bottoms, usually for two years

© Tony Gunton

© Charles J Sharp