Azure damselfly

Coenagrion puella

About

The azure damselfly is a small blue damselfly which is very common around most waterbodies and can also be found away from breeding sites in grassland and woodland. It is on the wing from the end of May through to August. Damselflies do not fly as strongly as dragonflies, so tend to lay in wait for their insect-prey before catching it in mid-air with their legs. They will return to their perch to eat their prey.

How to identify

The azure damselfly is pale blue with bands of black along the body. To identify the small blue damselflies, of which there are seven species in the UK, it helps to concentrate on the pattern on the second segment of the males' abdomen, just behind the thorax. In the azure damselfly, this segment is blue with a black U-shape.

Where to find it

Widespread, but absent from northern Scotland.

Habitats

When to find it

  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August

How can people help

Human activity, including the drainage of land for agriculture and the loss of ponds through development, has resulted in the disappearance of many wetlands. The Wildlife Trusts are working closely with planners, developers and farmers to ensure our wetlands are protected. You can help too: encourage dragonflies and damselflies into your garden by having a wildlife-friendly pond. In partnership with the RHS, The Wildlife Trusts' Wild About Gardens initiative can help you plan your wildlife garden with plenty of facts and tips to get you started.

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Species information

Common name
Azure damselfly
Latin name
Coenagrion puella
Category
Invertebrates
Dragonflies and damselflies
Statistics
Length: 3.3cm
Conservation status
Common.