Lestes – Spreadwings – Emerald Damselflies

 Lestes sponsa (m) Common Spreadwing 8-0748 WP

007. Common Spreadwing / Common Emerald Damselfly – Lestes sponsa – UK European dragonfly photo

The Common Spreadwing – Common Emerald Damselfly (Lestes sponsa) is one of the most frequently found Damselflies, particularly at shallow acidic sites with plenty of emergent vegetation although it is also tolerant of alkaline and even brackish waters .  In the UK it should be contrasted with the similar Robust Spreadwing – Lestes dryas. Several other Lestes species in Europe which have similar habitat requirements may all occur at the same site. It is often said that this family is unique in perching with its wings partially spread. On occasion however like most other species of Damselfly they can sit with their wings closed (and other species of Damselfly can also occasionally sit with their wings spread).  The male appendages should be examined to ensure correct identification. It is interesting to note how the abdominal colour changes with age and the light at the time of day when the photo was taken.

Mature males have metallic green to bronze bodies with blue pruinosity covering Segment 1 and all of Segment 2. The pterostigma is dark and the lower appendages are straight with narrowing tips.
Females have rather more robust metallic green bodies with the green spots on Segment 2 being triangular.

Tabley Mere, Knutsford, Cheshire

Lestes sponsa (m) Common

Lestes sponsa (m) Common Spreadwing WP 3-4198

Lestes sponsa (m) Common Spreadwing WP 8-5125

Lestes sponsa (m) Common

Lestes sponsa (f) Common Spreadwing S 552 CS5 P9-1 A-700x480