Large Red Damselfly

Pyrrhosoma nymphula

Click on images to enlarge



Length: 36mm

A large, active, deep red damselfly with black legs and a bronze-black top to the thorax which has broad red or yellow stripes. The female exists in several colour forms varying in the amount of red and black on the abdomen from nearly all black in f. melanotum to mainly red in f. fulvipes. The pterostigma is black. This is one of the earliest species to appear each spring.

Flight Period: early April to September


Relatively large and active with distinctive black X mark on the caudal lamellae


Can be found in almost any freshwater habitat but rarely on fast-flowing rivers or streams.

Status & Distribution

Widespread and common in Britain and Ireland.

Gateway terms and conditionsNBN Logo

Similar species

The only other red damselfly in the UK is the Small Red Damselfly. The small red has red legs and reddish pterostigma and the male has an entirely red abdomen.