Working to conserve dragonflies and their wetland habitats

Red-eyed Damselfly

Erythromma najas

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Length: 35mm

A robust looking damselfly with a dark greyish abdomen and a blue "tail" in the male. The eyes of the male are deep red and the thorax in both sexes is bronze black on top. The female has short, yellowish ante-humeral lines.


Found in lakes, gravel pits, canals and slow-flowing rivers. The males often sit on water lily leaves defending their leaf from allcomers.

Status & Distribution

Locally common in southern England and the Welsh Borders.

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Similar species

The similar, but smaller, Small Red-eyed Damselfly is sometimes found in the same habitat and careful observation is needed to distinguish the two species. Could be confused with the Blue-tailed Damselflies Ischnura elegans and I. pumilio, but these are smaller less robust looking insects and do not have red eyes.