Dragonflies and damselflies

Blue tailed damselfly

Blue-tailed damselfly

The blue-tailed damselfly is widespread throughout the New Forest, being seen in any area near water. It prefers habitats that are not acidic. It is common and widespread through the UK except the Scotland Highlands.

Blue-tailed damselflies breed in almost any waters, except fast flowing streams. They are more likely to be seen in ponds and ditches off the heaths than in waters on the heathlands of the New Forest that are too acidic for them. You may well see it anywhere in the New Forest, but areas such as Blashford Lakes (north of Ringwood) and garden ponds will hold high numbers. The adults fly from May through to early September.

The scarce blue-tailed damselfly is a rare species found in some of the boggy mires of the New Forest. It differs from the blue-tailed in having the blue going right to the end of the tail tip – not easy to see in the field.

ID tip - Blue-tailed damselflies are all black with a bright blue tip to the tail. The only other common species which have this colour combination are the emerald damselfly and the red-eyed damselfly. The emerald damselfly differs in having a bottle green body and a second patch of blue on the body, near the wing bases. The red-eyed damselfly has burgundy red eyes.

Photo credit: Simon Curson

  1. Dragonflies and damselflies
  2. Azure damselflies
  3. Beautiful demoiselle
  4. Blue-tailed damselfly (you are here)
  5. Broad-bodied chasers
  6. Common darter
  7. Emperor dragonfly
  8. Golden-ringed dragonfly
  9. Keeled skimmer
  10. Large red damselfly
  11. Small red damselfly
  12. Southern damselfly
  13. Southern hawker


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