Male ♂ Common Blue Damselfly
Photo ©1999 Kevin F. Conrad
Female ♀ Common Blue Damselfly
Click photo for a larger image
Common Blue Damselfly - Enellagma cyathigerum
Family - Coenagrionidae
The male of this species is typically blue and black whilst the usual female is dark with dull green colour replacing the blue areas of the male. A blue damselfly with black banding which breeds in all types of still and slow flowing water where there is abundant marginal vegetation, although not usually found on very small water bodies. Widespread and common in the north through to the Orkneys and Shetlands and can occur at higher altitudes than other damselflies. On Scottish Lochs it is often the only damselfly present.
It readily colonises new ponds and is often one of the first species to appear, being able to tolerate a wide range of habitat and water conditions. Favours large stretches of water on heaths, commons and salt marshes, sometimes breeding in the brackish waters. It is a holarctic species occurring east to Mongolia and west to North America, and will be found throughout most of Europe, although it becomes more local in the Mediterranean region. Common on larger gravel pits and canals.
In the 1950's it was probably the commonest local damsel fly in the Blackwater valley region. It is distinguished from the Azure Damselfly by having smaller black banding on the thorax. Flies from mid-May to the end of August. Large numbers can sometimes be seen, almost appearing as swarms over the water surface.
Description and data courtesy of The Blackwater Valley Partnership.
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