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Small red-eyed damselfly (Erythromma viridulum)

Taxonomy
Kingdom:Phylum:Class:Order:Family:Genus:Species:
AnimaliaArthropodaInsectaOdonataCoenagrionidae ErythrommaE. viridulum

Small Red-eyed Damselfly is a very common species that can be found from May till October near ponds, lakes and slow rivers with lush floating vegetation. As the climate is warming up they have been moving from Africa and southern Europe further northwards successfully colonising northern Germany and southern England. The earliest recording of Erythromma viridulum in United Kingdom date back to 1999 when it was found in Essex. In 2007 it was spotted as far as central Lithuania.

Reaching length of about 30mm and the wingspan of about 40mm it is a rather small damselfly. Adult males have distinctive red eyes and predominantly black body with blue markings at the tip and base of the abdomen. The female lacks the red colour and with green and blue lines along the thorax. It looks less striking than the male.



Erythromma viridulum looks very similar to the Red-eyed Damselfly (Erythromma najas) therefore the identification is confusing. The distinguishable feature is blue coloration of the sides of abdominal second and eighth segment being present with Erythromma viridulum while Erythromma najas lacks it. Erythromma najas is also larger than Erythromma viridulum.

During mating the male and female damselfly often fly in tandem. The eggs are deposited into the parts of plants that float close to the surface.
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