Small Red-eyed Damselfly

Erythromma viridulum

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Length: 29mm

A small damselfly with a dark abdomen and a blue tip in the male. The eyes of the male are brownish red and the thorax in both sexes is bronze black on top. The female has complete, thin green or blue ante-humeral lines.


Found on ponds, lakes and ditches and sometimes on brackish water. It seems to be associated with floating vegetation such as Hornwort and Water Milfoil.

Status & Distribution

Recent colonist (first records 1999). Spread spectacularly through southeast England and the Isle of Wight in the years immediately following its first appearances. Has now reached Devon in the west and North Yorkshire in the north, but expansion has slowed.

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Similar species

The similar, but larger, 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 insects do not have red eyes.