The Red Eyed Damselfly
This damselfly is a common sight in the south of the United Kingdom. It appears slightly sturdier and more robust than the other blue species, it is also larger in size.
It can often be seen in the presence of other blue damselfly species, settled in the sun on bank side vegetation and sometimes in fairly large numbers. It can be found on all types of water body provided that there is plenty of floating vegetation on which they like to settle.
This damselfly can be seen on the wing in early to mid May right through to mid August. Occasionally in a warm spring it can emerge in late April.
The male can be very easily identified, as itsappropriate name implies from the prominent blood red eyes when fully mature. Its has a blue thorax and no antehumeral stripes. Abdominal segments 9 an 10 are also blue.
Immature specimens and females have a yellow body and will appear very similar; however the males have a lilac colouring on segments 9 and 10 which turn blue with age as they mature. The female has dull red eyes and has two yellow antehumeral stripes on the top of its thorax which are key to identification.
Adults specimens can only really be confused with the Small Red Eyed Damselfly which is increasing its range. The Small Red Eye emerges later in the season and has subtle differences in the blue segments on its abdomen.