Small Red Damsel – Small Red Damselfly – Cerigrion tenellum – UK – European Dragonfly photo
The Small Red Damsel – Small Red Damselfly ( Ceriagrion tenellum ) flies weakly and keeps well down in the vegetation, usually close to the edge of the water. In the UK its preferred habitat is similar to that of the Mercury Bluet – Coenagrion mercuriale but it also occurs in peaty, sphagnum filled, boggy heaths and in southern Europe in small rivers and pools with plenty of emergent vegetation. Females have several colour forms with typica and melanogastrum shown below.
KEY I/D FEATURES :
Males have an all red abdomen, reddish legs and pterostigma and no postocular spots. Antehumeral stripes on the bronze thorax are either very small or absent. This species is also prone to mites which can be seen under the right side of the thorax in the first photograph.
Females are found in several colour forms. The photograph of f.typica has Segments 1-3 and Segments 9-10 red and the remainder of the segments black. The next photo is f.melanogastrum which has a completely black upperside to the abdomen.