Resident Damselfly Species on the Isle of Wight.

An Emerald Damselfly new to the Isle of Wight list is Lestes barbarus  the Southern Emerald Damselfly. This species has been breeding in a forest location for the last five years, however numbers seem to be declining recently. The first individuals appear from their two dry shallow scrape-like ponds in late May and when conditions are right they are recorded until almost mid October. Evidence of mating pairs is not usually seen until August when the scrapes are completely dry. 

The Emerald Damselfly Lestes sponsa, is arguably the finest of our local damselflies. The adult male has glorious colouring and bright blue eyes and both the female and male display a rich golden brown together with an emerald green when immature. Population numbers seem to be of a low density here although individuals can be encountered at a variety of habitats including ponds with lush vegetation and almost dried up shallow areas in late summer. 

Similar in appearance to the Red-eyed is the Small Red-eyed Damselfly. This species was  first recorded only twenty years ago on the Isle of Wight and has now spread around the Island. It too likes ponds with surface vegetation but is quite happy in smaller ponds unlike the Red-eyed. Females can be yellow, green, or blue.

Another blue damselfly is the Red-eyed Damselfly which is quite commonly seen here at large ponds and standing water bodies, particularly with floating vegetation  such as water-lilies. Females and immatures tend to be yellowish-green in colour and new emergents have purple tones in both male and female. They can sometimes be in the company of the Small Red-eyed Damselfly although the former is on the wing in May whereas the Small Red-eyed emerges in late June or July.


The Common Blue Damselfly as the name suggests is a species that can be seen throughout the UK. It prefers large water bodies such as lakes, reservoirs, and larger ponds. Of course the male is a striking blue and  the female has two colour forms, dull green and blue. The male and tandem pairs are often seen flying low over open water.

Perhaps the three most prolific species of damselfly are the Azure,Large Red,and the Blue-tailed.The Azure is found in particular, in small ponds and ditches and emerges in the spring.The male is blue and the female has two colour forms,green with black and  a blue form.

Emerging slightly eariler than the Azure is the Large Red Damselfly.Another very common species and found in various habitats.There are three colour forms in the female including the mainly black  melanotum. 


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