Male Beautiful Demoiselle

Male Beautiful Demoiselle ©Guy Edwardes/2020VISION

Beautiful Demoiselle female

Female Beautiful Demoiselle ©Chris Lawrence

Beautiful demoiselle

Scientific name: Calopteryx virgo
The Beautiful demoiselle can be seen flitting around fast-moving rivers. The males are metallic blue and the females green, but both lack the distinctive dark wing bands of the Banded demoiselle.

Species information

Statistics

Length: 4.5cm

When to see

May to August

About

The Beautiful demoiselle is a large damselfly that lives on small, fast-flowing rivers, mainly in the west of the country. It is one of only two UK damselflies with obviously coloured wings; the similar-looking Banded demoiselle, however, has distinctive dark patches on its wings. The Beautiful demoiselle is typically on the wing from May to August. It displays a flitting, fluttering flight, which the male uses to attract a female.

How to identify

Male Beautiful demoiselles have dark-coloured wings and metallic blue-green bodies; females have brown wings and green bodies. The Beautiful demoiselle is similar to the Banded Demoiselle, but the males of the latter species have distinctive dark patches in the middle of their wings.

Distribution

Found west of a line drawn from Liverpool to Folkestone, where it is locally abundant.

Did you know?

Male Beautiful demoiselles rest on bankside vegetation awaiting passing females. They use their fluttering flight as a courtship display.

How people can help

The Wildlife Trusts manage many wetland nature reserves for the benefit of the wildlife they support. You can help by supporting your local Trust and becoming a member; you'll find out about exciting wildlife news, events on your doorstep and volunteering opportunities, and will be helping local wildlife along the way. Encourage dragonflies and damselflies into your garden by having a wildlife-friendly pond. To find out more about gardening for wildlife, visit our Wild About Gardens website: a joint initiative with the RHS, there's plenty of facts and tips to get you started.