UK Species Checklists

The BDS list of dragonflies recorded in the UK (up to 2016)

The dragonfly lists presented below follow the taxonomic sequence of Schorr and Paulson (2013).


Category A: resident and/or migrant species recorded since 1970

This category comprises species with well-established breeding populations and migrant species that have been recorded regularly since 1970, the latter often attempting to establish temporary breeding populations.

Scientific name

British common name

European standard name
(nc = no change from British common name)

Chalcolestes viridis

Willow Emerald Damselfly

Western Willow Spreadwing

Lestes barbarus

Southern Emerald Damselfly

Migrant Spreadwing

Lestes dryas

Scarce Emerald Damselfly

Robust Spreadwing

Lestes sponsa

Emerald Damselfly

Common Spreadwing

Calopteryx splendens

Banded Demoiselle


Calopteryx virgo

Beautiful Demoiselle


Platycnemis pennipes

White-legged Damselfly

Blue Featherleg

Ceriagrion tenellum

Small Red Damselfly

Small Red Damsel

Coenagrion hastulatum

Northern Damselfly

Spearhead Bluet

Coenagrion lunulatum

Irish Damselfly

Crescent Bluet

Coenagrion mercuriale

Southern Damselfly

Mercury Bluet

Coenagrion puella

Azure Damselfly

Azure Bluet

Coenagrion pulchellum

Variable Damselfly

Variable Bluet

Coenagrion scitulum

Dainty Damselfly

Dainty Bluet

Enallagma cyathigerum

Common Blue Damselfly

Common Bluet

Erythromma najas

Red-eyed Damselfly

Large Redeye

Erythromma viridulum

Small Red-eyed Damselfly

Small Redeye

Ischnura elegans

Blue-tailed Damselfly

Common Bluetail

Ischnura pumilio

Scarce Blue-tailed Damselfly

Small Bluetail

Pyrrhosoma nymphula

Large Red Damselfly

Large Red Damsel

Aeshna affinis

Southern Migrant Hawker

Blue-eyed Hawker

Aeshna caerulea

Azure Hawker


Aeshna cyanea

Southern Hawker

Blue Hawker

Aeshna grandis

Brown Hawker


Aeshna juncea

Common Hawker

Moorland Hawker

Aeshna mixta

Migrant Hawker


Anaciaeshna isoceles

Norfolk Hawker

Green-eyed Hawker

Anax imperator

Emperor Dragonfly

Blue Emperor

Anax parthenope

Lesser Emperor


Brachytron pratense

Hairy Dragonfly

Hairy Hawker

Gomphus vulgatissimus

Common Clubtail


Cordulegaster boltonii

Golden-ringed Dragonfly

Common Goldenring

Cordulia aenea

Downy Emerald


Somatochlora arctica

Northern Emerald


Somatochlora metallica

Brilliant Emerald


Leucorrhinia dubia

White-faced Darter

Small Whiteface

Libellula depressa

Broad-bodied Chaser


Libellula fulva

Scarce Chaser

Blue Chaser

Libellula quadrimaculata

Four-spotted Chaser


Orthetrum cancellatum

Black-tailed Skimmer


Orthetrum coerulescens

Keeled Skimmer


Sympetrum danae

Black Darter


Sympetrum flaveolum

Yellow-winged Darter


Sympetrum fonscolombii

Red-veined Darter


Sympetrum sanguineum

Ruddy Darter


Sympetrum striolatum *

Common Darter *


* - includes dark specimens in the north-west formerly treated as a separate species; Highland Darter Sympetrum nigrescens.


Category B: vagrant species

Since 1998 records of these species have been assessed by the Odonata Records Committee.

Scientific name

British common name

European standard name
(nc = no change from British common name)

Sympecma fusca

Winter Damselfly

Common Winter Damselfly

Anax ephippiger

Vagrant Emperor


Anax junius

Green Darner

Common Green Darner

Gomphus flavipes

Yellow-legged Clubtail

River Clubtail

Leucorrhinia pectoralis

Large White-faced Darter

Yellow-spotted Whiteface

Crocothemis erythraea **

Scarlet Darter **

Broad Scarlet

Pantala flavescens

Wandering Glider


Sympetrum pedemontanum

Banded Darter


Sympetrum vulgatum

Vagrant Darter

Moustached Darter


** has bred in the Channel Islands.


Category C: former breeding species not recorded since 1970

Any further records of these species will be assessed by the Odonata Records Committee.

Coenagrion armatum

Norfolk Damselfly

Dark Bluet

Oxygastra curtisii

Orange-spotted Emerald



Category D: species recorded only in the Channel Islands

Orthetrum brunneum

Southern Skimmer


Sympetrum meridionale

Southern Darter



Category E: exotic species introduced accidentally

These records have come principally from aquatic nurseries (Parr, 2000).

Argia fumipennis

Variable Dancer

Ceriagrion cerinorubellum

Painted Waxtail

Enallagma signatum

Orange Bluet

Ischnura posita

Fragile Forktail

Ischnura senegalensis

Common Bluetail

Anax gibbosulus

Green Emperor

Anax guttatus

Lesser Green Emperor

Crocothemis servilia

Oriental Scarlet

Erythemis simplicicollis

Eastern Pondhawk

Rhodothemis rufa

Spine-legged Redbolt

Tramea transmarina euryale

Ocean Glider

Urothemis bisignata