Lestes dryas (m) Robust Spreadwing 8 - 1815 WP

008 Robust Spreadwing / Scarce Emerald Damselfly – Lestes dryas – UK European Dragonfly photo

The Robust Spreadwing – Scarce Emerald Damselfly  (Lestes dryas) quite frequently occurs with the Common Spreadwing – Lestes sponsa although it is usually found in lower numbers. The two species can easily be confused and care should be taken in identifying them through reference to the male’s lower appendages under a hand lens. In the UK the Common Spreadwing is a localised species and found mainly in the South East. It prefers still and shallow waters which are densely vegetated with rushes and sedges and which dry up during the summer. It is the only European Lestes species which can also be found in North America.

Mature males again have the metallic green body but with pruinosity  on Segment 1 and the first two-thirds of Segment 2 – the last third is not pruinose. The eyes are a brighter blue than on the Common Spreadwing – Lestes sponsa and the lower appendages are thicker and incurved at the tips.
Females again have a broader metallic body and the green spots on Segment 2 are rectangular.


Benfleet Marshes, Essex

Lestes dryas (m) Robust Spreadwing 8 - 1717 WP

Lestes dryas (m) Robust Spreadwing 8 - 1705 WP