Northern Emerald

Somatochlora arctica

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Length: 50mm

Flight period: June to early August (occasionally seen in May, late August and September)

The Northern Emerald has bluish-green (sometimes yellowish) eyes. The wings are faintly suffused with saffron. The thorax are metallic bronze green but the abdomen is quite dark.

Male: an obviously waisted abdomen with calliper-like appendages.

Female: a short vulvar scale and are more parallel sided.


Breeds in moorland bogs and pools, often with much Sphagnum. Adults patrol wet meadows and open areas in pine woods or on moors with scattered trees.

Status & Distribution

Uncommon. Restricted to north-west Scotland and south-west Ireland.

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Similar species

The Downy Emerald and Brilliant Emerald are somewhat similar in appearance.