Southern Damselfly
Coenagrion mercuriale

Easily confusable with the Common Blue and Azure Damselflies, close inspection is required to identify the Southern Damselfly.

Firstly it should be noted that I have only seen Southern Damselflies at Crockford Stream, and the presence of a bright blue damsel here is in itself almost diagnostic, as other similar species are rarely present.

Examination of the second abdominal segment of the male is required for a 100% positive identification, which looks like a small cartoon viking with a horned helmet (happy to accept better suggestions though!).

Quite approachable and easy to photograph.

   
locations media gallery

Crockford Stream (Nr Beaulieu), Holmsley Gravel Pit (feeder stream), Latchmore Brook (nearby marshland).

Copulating Pair Photo Copulating Pair Photo Copulating Pair Photo Copulating Pair Photo View movie clip
Male Photo Male Photo Male Photo Male Photo Male Photo Male Photo
   
seasonal appearance distinguishing features

Males are a very similar blue colour to their Azure and Common Blue counterparts, yet have slightly more black colouration on the abdomen than both. The second abdominal segment is used for positive identification, showing a small black 'viking' figure. Females are almost entirely black, aside from green lateral lines dividing the abdominal segments and green eyes..