This damselfly is a very common species and is found in a wide variety of locations, on both still water, slow flowing rivers and streams. It can be found throughout the United Kingdom more or less without exception.
It is one of the first damselflies of the year to emerge and it can be seen from late April / early May right through to late August.
The mature male has a deep red abdomen and thoracic stripes. It also has dark red eyes with dark bands running horizontally across them. It differs from the Small Red Damselfly which is smaller and far brighter in colour. Both species can be encountered at the same site but cannot really be confused.
The mature female has a red abdomen which is crossed with black and yellow bands. The thoracic stripes are also yellow / red. Females can have a varying degree of blackness across their abdomen.
This species shares a unique feature with the Emerald variety in that while at rest, it quite often has its wings partially open, unlike other damselflies that hold their wings parallel to their abdomen. This can cause depth of field issues for the photographer.