All featured images were taken by and remain the property of Chris Brooks

The narrative was kindly written
 and supplied by
Mr Ken Crick

Red Eyed Damselfly (Erythromma najas)

A Species Narrative by Ken Crick


Welcome to my new style narrative, the content of which has been kindly written and supplied by Ken Crick. The narrative is intended to give an insight into the life cycle and characteristics of the featured species.

Size: - Approximate Length 35mm - Wing Span 38 to 48mm.
Male: - The male (see above) is a dark species with bright red eyes. The black upper surface of the thorax is free of any indication of an antehumeral stripe. The sides of the thorax are blue, as are abdominal segments 9 and 10. The Small Red-eyed Damselfly (Erythromma viridulum) is migrating west and northwards and considerable care has to be exercised to separate the two.

Female: - The female (see below) is dark, almost black from head to tail and with dull red eyes. The dark upper surface of the thorax is broken by two yellow short fine antehumeral stripes. The abdominal segment joints are clearly defined by a fine pale green line that turns blue for segments 8, 9 and 10. The flanks of the thorax and whole underside of the female are pale yellow tending to green.


Status: - Restricted to central and south eastern England, with outposts in Devon, Wales and Yorkshire.

Habitat: - Favours almost any body of water that supports water lilies and plants with broad floating leaves. It will also set up territories on waters with large algal blooms.

Flight period: - Mid May to mid August.

General: - This insect has a strong flight. The males spend much of their time out over the water, setting up territories over floating vegetation. Males are often seen sitting on algal blooms as well as floating leaves and the upright stems of succulent plants such as Marsh St John’s-Wort (Hypericum elodes).

Egg-laying is performed in tandem but some males just before becoming completely submerged, release the female to continue egg-laying alone under water. Egg-laying is not restricted to succulent floating plants but has been observed on the stems of Water Crowfoot (Ranunculus aquatilis).

The narrative was kindly written and supplied by Ken Crick

All featured images were taken by and remain the property of Chris Brooks

You are viewing the text version of this site.

To view the full version please install the Adobe Flash Player and ensure your web browser has JavaScript enabled.

Need help? check the requirements page.

Get Flash Player