Small Red-eyed Damselfly - Erythromma viridulum

Photos

Coming soon, hopefully

Main features

Classification:

Odonata        
Zygoptera     Damselflies
  Coenagrionidae   Blue or red damselflies

Distinctive red eyes of the male makes it easily separated from all other damselflies except the Red-eyed Damselfly - Erythromma najas which is a little larger.

Segments 9 and 10 of the male are entirely blue, making a prominent "tail light", S2, S3 and S8 are blue sided, with black on the dorsal surface. The female lacks the blue tail and has duller yellow greenish eyes and yellowish antehumeral stripes.

Males feature a black "X" on segment 10.

Separating the two red-eyed species is not always easy:

Differences between male Erythromma najas and Erythromma viridulum
Feature Erythromma najas Erythromma viridulum
Abdomen Features a grey pruinescence Glossy black, no pruinescence
Segments 1, 9 & 10 blue, the rest are black 2, 3 & 8 also (mostly) blue. 10 features a black X mark seen from above
Wings Wings extend to S8 Wings extend to S7
Legs All black Black with subtle blue stripe
Eyes Blood red Paler red, tomato like
Flight May - September July - September

 

Habitat

Similar to that of Red-eyed Damselflies; prefers still waters, lakes and ponds with dense floating vegetation.

Where to see

A recent addition to Bedfordshire's Dragonflies, the Small Red-eyed damselfly is extending it's range within the county's borders (and indeed the rest of the UK). First discovered at the Finger Lakes at Priory CP, it's been spotted at several other sites including Felmersham NR and Sundon Chalk Quarry.

Visible between early July and early September. This is later than Erythromma najas, which can be a useful aid in separating the two Red-eyed species.