Red-eyed Damselfly Erythromma najas


At distance this damselfly may look like a Blue-tailed Damselfly.  However, the male has blue on segments 9-10 and deep burgundy eyes and likes to sit on floating vegetation such as water lilies.

The female has brownish-red eyes and yellowish green broken antehumeral stripes on the thorax and a dark top to the abdomen with blue divisions.  Seen in mating pairs on floating vegetation the female can also be found perched in surrounding vegetation.  Begins to emerge in May and continues on till the end of August.


Small Red-eyed Damselfly Erythromma viridulum


A very similar damselfly to the Red-eyed Damselfly but slightly smaller with smaller brownish-red eyes, which look slightly darker than the Red-eyed.

Males usually have broken antehumeral stripes, a dark top to the abdomen, except for segments 1, 9-10, which are blue and a good identification point is the blue sides of segment 8 and a black ‘x’ on segment 10.

Females have complete antehumerals, yellowish green top of abdomen and coloured wedges (normally blue) on segment 10

Like the Red-eyed Damselfly, Small reds can be found on floating vegetation, for instance blanket weed and other floating plants but are found later in the year during July and August.



Antehumeral stripe The coloured stripe/s along the thorax



Ovipositing The depositing of eggs



Prothorax            A plate shaped like a shield that is situated at the top of the front of the thorax.



Pterostigma          The coloured cell or cells along the front of the wing near the tip.



Segment                    Partitions on the abdomen (1-10) important for identification.          



Tandem                    When the male grasps the females’ pro-thorax and the pair are joined together.



Wheel                   The copulation position.

Introduction to the Damselflies of Norfolk (3)

Red-eyed (1)


Small Red-eyed (1) Small Red-eyed (2) Small Red-eyed (3)

Male                                                                                                                                                    Pair in tandem

female red-eyed