Banded Demoiselle

Calopteryx splendens

I have been playing cat and mouse with these beautiful broad-winged dragonflies by my local river this morning. Patience is everything when photographing nature in the wild, but I am sure these critters always got a sense when I took my lens cap off for they would flutter off to alight somewhere else, usually out of reach! But patience paid off and I manged to get one reasonable shot of this handsome male.

A very elegant and extraordinarily beautiful damselfly. The males have a metallic blue-green sheen with a broad dark blue spot.The females are pale greeny-gold with a small false white wing spot near the tip. Similar to theΒ  Beautiful Demoiselle (Calopteryx virgo). Body length 45 to 48mm. Forewing 30 to 35mm.

The males are very territorial, and they court females by flicking their wings open and performing an aerial dance for them. The females lay their many eggs into a variety of emergent or floating plants. The eggs hatch after about 14 days. The larvae develop over a 2 year period in submerged vegetation.

It flies May to September, and it is found near slow-flowing streams and rivers. It is common and widespread in the Lowlands of Ireland, England and Wales. It is absent from Scotland and rare in northern England.

Photograph taken June 2016, local river, Staffordshire.

4 thoughts on “Banded Demoiselle

  1. The colours are stunning … yet how often do we get to see these airy denizens in such detail? Thank you for your wonderful photography, Pete.


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