12. Western Willow Spreadwing – Willow Emerald Damselfly -Lestes viridis – UK – European Dragonfly photo
The Western Willow Spreadwing – Willow Emerald Damselfly (Lestes viridis) has a longer abdomen than other Lestes and appears larger overall. It is relatively common and although endemic to the Western Palaearctic it is another species which has only recently colonised the U K. All sorts of waters are occupied if these are surrounded by bushes and trees, especially those with soft bark such as Willow into which the females oviposit. Sites which dry out are unsuitable unlike for others in the Lestes family. It is a late species to emerge, mainly about the middle of July but as early as May in Iberia.
KEY I/D FEATURES
Both sexes are all metallic green and have no pruinosity on the abdomens. The pale brown pterostigma, with an even paler centre, are large. There are very narrow antehumeral stripes on the thorax. Also noticeable are the pale appendages which show well against the dark of Segment 10. The upper appendages are pale with black tips to the points and the lower appendages are very short.
Females have a thorax with a clear green spike when viewed from the side.