A large red and black-striped damselfly with black legs. Both sexes have red eyes. The males have deep red coloured abdomens with bronze-black bands. The thorax has a bronze-black top and stripe across the side. Females have three colour forms, the commonest is similar to the male but has more black on the abdominal segments.It is similar to the rarer Small Red Damselfly (Ceriagrion tenellum). Body length 35mm. Forewing 20 to 25mm.
It flies April to August. The female lays eggs in batches of around 350 into submerged vegetation. The larvae develop for 1-3 years before emerging as adults.
One of the first damselflies to appear in spring, and found in most wetland habitats, but avoids fast-flowing water. Common and widespread throughout.
Photographs taken May 2016, back garden pond, Staffordshire, June 2015, front garden, Staffordshire, and June 2006, Wyre Forest, Worcestershire.
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