Beautiful Demoiselle

Calopteryx virgo

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Length: 45mm

Only two species of damselfly in Britain have obviously coloured wings. They both belong to the genus Calopteryx. In this species the wings of the mature male are very dark blue-black and those of the female are iridescent brown-green. The body colour is metallic blue-green in the male and green with a bronze tip in the female. The flight is fluttering, butterfly-like.


Mainly found along streams and rivers, particulary those with sand or gravel bottoms. The males rest on bankside vegetation waiting for females.

Status & Distribution

Locally abundant. Mostly found west of a line between Liverpool and Folkestone and in southern Ireland.
Main flight period is late May to end August.

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Similar species

The Banded Demoiselle (C. splendens) is the only other British damselfly with coloured wings.