Emerald Damselfly - Lestes sponsa

Photos

Various photos of male and female Emerald Damselflies

  • Emerald Damselfy - Lestes sponsa:  Male, Felmersham NR
    Male at Felmersham NR
    Although the colours are bright, Emerald Damselflies can be surprisingly difficult to see.
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  • Emerald Damselfy - Lestes sponsa:  Female, Felmersham NR
    Females have more subdued colouring.
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  • Emerald Damselfy - Lestes sponsa:  Female, Felmersham NR
    Female at Felmersham NR showing the wings held half open, a characteristic of Emerald Damselflies.
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  • Emerald Damselfy - Lestes sponsa:  Female, Marston Thrift
    Female at Marston Thrift.
    This shows the metallic sheen on the abdomen and thorax well.
  • Emerald Damselfy - Lestes sponsa:  Female, Marston Thrift
    Female at Marston Thrift, surprisingly difficult to see amongst the foliage.
  • Emerald Damselfy - Lestes sponsa:  Male, Felmersham NR
    Male at Felmersham NR, eating a fly.
  • Emerald Damselfy - Lestes sponsa:  Male, Felmersham NR
    Male, Felmersham NR
    This macro photo was taken using flash.
  • Emerald Damselfy - Lestes sponsa:  Male, Coronation Pit
    Male at Coronation Pit
    Emeralds can be quite common at the Southern end of Coronation Pit.
  • Emerald Damselfy - Lestes sponsa:  Male, Coronation Pit
    Male at Coronation Pit
    The brilliant blue eyes are particularly noticeable.
  • Emerald Damselfy - Lestes sponsa:  Male, Coronation Pit
    Male taken on a hot day at Coronation Pit.
    Hot days can make shy damselflies more active and easier to spot.
  • Emerald Damselfy - Lestes sponsa:  Female, Felmersham NR
    An old female at Felmersham NR, looking a bit tatty and subdued.
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Main features

Classification:

Odonata        
Zygoptera     Damselflies
  Lestidae   Emerald damselflies

Larger than the blue damselflies, but not as big as a demoiselle, characteristically rests with wings held half open at 45°

The male is predominantly metallic green, with segments 1, 2, 9 and 10 coloured blue, with the blue continuing half along the thorax. The eyes are blue, contrasting with the green head.

The female lacks the blue of the male, and the thorax is half green, half pale brown. Eyes are reddish brown.

Habitat

Not generally seen over water, but found near shallow still water sites, ponds, ditches etc., sometimes around rivers close to still waters.

Where to see

One of the counties rarest species, can be locally common at clay pits and quarries, such as Felmersham NR and Coronation Pit, but not always easy to spot.

Visible between early June and early September.