Small red-eyed damselfly Erythromma viridulum

Best time to see: early Jul to early Sep

Key facts

A small damselfly with brownish-red eyes and a bright blue abdomen and tail

Habitat: slow-moving or still water with plenty of floating vegetation, and especially hornwort

A recent colonist of Britain, spreading northwards from the south-east


Males have a dark abdomen with a blue tip; the female's eyes are brownish-red and it is dull in colour throughout

Spend much of their time perched on floating vegetation, with their abdomen curved slightly upwards

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


Mate in tandem, the females laying eggs in the stems and leaves of floating plants

Larvae overwinter in muddy bottoms, usually emerging after one year

© Paul Ritchie

© Paul Ritchie