Small Red-eyed Damselfly Erythromma viridulum

Previous Species Next Species

Length

29mm; Wingspan: Male 38mm; Female 38mm; Hindwing 16-20mm

Male

Small Red-eyed Damselfly - Erythromma viridulum

Similar to Red-eyed Damselfly though distinctly smaller, more likely to be overlooked as Blue-tailed Damselfly. Lacks spots behind the eyes which are reddish-brown. Pale brown pterostigma. Black top to thorax with thin, broken antehumeral stripes. Thorax side is blue with a ‘Spur’ often ending in a spot. Underside of legs are pale. Abdomen dark on top except for S1, S9- S10 and sides of S2-S3 and S8 which are blue. S10 has a black mark, rather like an X, on the top. Wing tips just reach past the join of segment 6 and 7, Red-eyed Damselflies reach into segment 8. Often holds it’s abdomen slightly upcurved, Red-eyed Damselflies hold their abdomen level.

Female

Small Red-eyed Damselfly - Erythromma viridulum

Lack spots behind the eyes. Pale brown pterostigma. Black top to thorax with complete antehumeral stripes. Thorax side is blue-green. Abdomen is predominantly black with a wedge of colour on S10.

Gallery

Small Red-eyed Damselfly Gallery

Behaviour

Mating occurs on floating plants or emergent vegetation, often well away from the margins, making them easily overlooked. Less partial to floating flat leaves than Red-eyed Damselfly. Whilst perched on vegetation the males often hold their abdomen slightly upcurved.

Habitat

Ponds, lakes and ditches clogged with floating mats of vegetation, particularly hornworts and water-milfoils.

Flight Period

National: Mid June to late September though mainly July to August. Later than Red-eyed Damselfly.
Yorkshire: Currently only recorded during August.

Locations

small-red-eyed-damselfly-erythromma-viridulum