Banded demoiselle (Calopteryx splendens)

The banded demoiselle (Calopteryx splendens) is a species of damselfly belonging to the family Calopterygidae. It is often found along slow-flowing streams and rivers. It is a Eurasian species occurring from the Atlantic coast eastwards to Lake Baikal and northwestern China. This is a common species throughout much of its range.

This is a large damselfly with a total length of up to 48 millimetres (1.9 in) and a hindwing length of up to 36 millimetres (1.4 in).

Male and female are variable in colour and pattern. The male has translucent wings, which each have a broad, dark iridescent blue-black spot (or band) across the outer part. On immature individuals, the spot is dark brown. The body can be metallic blue, bluish-green, or a combination of both colours, depending on the time of year and location.

The dark wing patch of the male starts at the nodus (the slight dip midway down the upper edge of the wing) but can reach up to the wing tip in southern races. The dark patch starts before the nodus in the very similar beautiful demoiselle (Calopteryx virgo).

The female has translucent, pale green iridescent wings with a white patch near the tip (a pseudopterostigma), and a metallic green or bronze/green body.

Seen in reeds by the Rive Crane, Twickenham, in June 2020


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