Species of the Month June 2022

Beautiful Demoiselle (Calopteryx virgo)


The Beautiful Demoiselle is a spectacular metallic damselfly with fluttering butterfly like wings. Like most Odonata, the males and females differ: the males are metallic blue with entirely dark wings, and the females are metallic green with pale brown wings.

The size (45mm) and dark wings make Demoiselles easy to decipher from other damselflies and dragonflies, so the only likely confusion species is Banded Demoiselle (Calopteryx splendens). However in this species the male has a broad dark stripe on the wing, and the female has pale green wings rather than pale brown. They also differ in their habitat preference, with Beautiful Demoiselle frequenting faster flowing gravel or sand bottomed watercourses, and Banded Demoiselle prefering slow flowing mud bottomed watercourses.

You can find more identification information for Beautiful Demoiselle on the British Dragonfly Society and additional photographs on Steven Falk's Flickr.

Beautiful Demoiselle are scattered throughout south east Wales, but we only hold 1386 records at SEWBReC; you can view the 1km distribution for SEWBReC here and the 10km Wales wide distribution here.

If you spot a Beautiful Demoiselle during June (or at any other time of year), please send us the record, ideally via SEWBReCORD or the LERC Wales App. Instructions on how to submit records are available here.