Small Red Damselfly
Ceriagrion tenellum

A very small and fragile damselfly that is easily overlooked, especially when among its Large Red counterparts.

Small Red Damselflies can be found in a variety of forest habitats, but tend to favour marsh land on the periphery of a large body of water. However, Small Reds can also be found in less abundance among the bankside vegetation of some forest streams.

Aside from their diminutive size, they are best identified via their pale orange/red coloured legs. They are about 2/3 the size of the Large Red damselfly, that can be differentiated on close inspection by its black legs.

   
locations media gallery

Can be found in the bog and gorse surrounding Hatchet Small Pond. Smaller numbers can also be observed at Holmsley Gravel Pit, Burbush Hill and along the edge of the Ober Water, close to the A35. Also seen in large numbers at Upton Heath Nature Reserve.

Female Emperor Photo Female Emperor Photo Female Emperor Photo Female Emperor Photo View movie clip
Female Emperor Photo Female Emperor Photo Female Emperor Photo Female Emperor Photo Female Emperor Photo
   
seasonal appearance distinguishing features

There are only two species of red damselfly in the New Forest: The Large Red and the Small Red. Aside from using size to differentiate between the two (not always an accurate science) the Small Red can be identified through its pale orange/red legs (as opposed to the black legs of the Large Red variety). The male has an entirely red abdomen, females have a bronze / black abdomen apart from 1-2 red final segments. Males and females both have a small red spot on the front of the wing tips.