Red-eyed Damselfly
Erythromma najas

A small damselfly, with a blue tipped abdomen (males) that is not dissimilar to the more common Blue-tailed damselfly. However, the vivid red eye colouration of the males (females have a dark reddy brown colouration) is diagnostic.

Found more commonly in areas of broad open water, with heavy floating vegetation, above which it prefers to hover. A very challenging species to photograph, as it rarely approaches the bank, and prefers to perch on the centre of lily pads toward the centre of the pond.

In flight the head and abdomen appears quite black, making them easy to differentiate from other species like the Blue-tailed damselfly.

Emerges in early May and can still be observed as late as early September.

locations media gallery

Observed at Hatchet Small Pond (Hatchet Moor), Dunyeats Pond, Hordle Lakes and also at the Alder Rd Nature Reserve in East Dorset.

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seasonal appearance distinguishing features

Males have vivid blood red eyes, a predominantly black abdomen, with the final two segments (9 and 10) a pale blue colour. Females have an entirely black body, without the light blue segments of the male. Females also have darker red / brown eye colouration.