Lestes sponsa | Emerald Damselfly | Spré-eiteach Coiteann
Ireland: Least Concern
EU: Least Concern
There is no evidence of any change in its distribution or abundance.
Both sexes have a brown wing-spot, wings are tinted brown when immature but become clear in mature adults. Males have a metallic green abdomen which transforms into a bronze colour before the frosted blue segments, 9 and 10, at the tip. Segments 1 and 2 have a frosted blue colour, Abdominal segment 2 is wholly powder blue in mature males. Males eyes are light brown when immature but blue in mature adults. Male appendages: inner appendages are straight and outer appendages are curved.
Adult habitat & habits
The emeralds are the only Damselflies to rest with their wings partly open. Wings are held open at a 45° to the body when at rest.
Prefers small habitats of acid still water and large amounts of vegetation (rushes, sedges, common reed and horsetail) e.g. small lakes and ponds, bog pool. Absent from running water habitats. Prefers aquatic habitats with few fish as their highly active larvae are susceptible to predation.
June to September (occasionally May and/or October)
Common all throughout Ireland, particularly lowland areas, even recorded on offshore islands. Not regularly seen in the south east.
Records submitted to Data Centre in 2023
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