005. Copper Demoiselle – Calopteryx haemorrhoidalis – European Dragonfly photo
The Copper Demoiselle ( Calopteryx haemorrhoidalis) is the southern European counterpart to the Banded Demoiselle ( Calopteryx splendens) where it is common on clean rivers throughout the south of France, Spain, Portugal and North Africa. I photographed the male in the first photograph above just as it was resting to feed having caught an insect. There have been a number of sub-species named based upon differences in body colouring but these haven’t been proven worthy of separate status. Recently the two species have been found to hybridise in Italy causing more difficulty in varying body colourations.
KEY I/D FEATURES :
Males are very distinctive with red/bronze bodies and mainly dark wings which are clear at the base. The line between the clear area and the rest of the wing runs down at an angle to the right from the front to the back of the wings. I have since thought how aptly the males scientific name was chosen with the red underside to the end of the abdomen.
Females can be identified by the green/bronze bodies, dark tips to the hindwings which show the pale pseudopterostigma and narrow humeral stripes.