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Red-eyed Damselfly

Picture of Red-eyed Damselfly
Photo:S Read

The Red-eyed Damselfly (Erythromma najas) is not particularly common, and can be difficult to spot due to its habit of occupying the center of ponds and streams. One of the first clues to its presence can be its distinctive habit of flying backwards, which it does far more than other damselflies. It likes water-lilies and other flat leaves, where it perches and oviposits.


In appearance it looks black through binoculars, and the wings appear to protrude further along the body than other common species. It is noticably larger and bulkier than other damselflies that may be around.

Males can be confused with the Blue-tailed damselfly, but that has a blue band on the 8th segment, while male red-eyed have a blue tip.

It can be difficult to seperate from the Small Red-eyed damselfly, but from the side, the small red-eyed shows blue on segments 2 and 8 whereas the red-eyed is black.

In the hand, the 10th segment of the small has a black cross not present in the red-eyed. Female small have more complete antehumeral stripes, while the red-eyed has broken or absent stripes.

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