39. Small Redeye – Small Red-eyed Damselfly – Erythromma viridulum – UK – European Dragonfly photo
The Small Red-eyed Damselfly (Erythromma viridulum ) is noticeably smaller than its larger namesake – Erythromma najas and it is on the wing somewhat later than that species. Southern and western Europe contain the main populations but it is another dragonfly which is expanding its range northwards in the UK being first found in the south east of the country in 1999 and reaching my county of Cheshire in 2015. Its habitat preference is similar to the Large Redeye but includes slow-flowing waters and it is less likely to choose floating vegetation such as lily pads on which to perch. The species is prone to mites and this is apparent in the last photo.
KEY I/D FEATURES
Males are paler and more slender than the Large Redeye. The stripes on the thorax are usually, but not invariably, complete. The abdomen appears shiny black but with blue edges when viewed from the side. Segments 9-10 are usually blue and a key point to look for is the black X mark on Segment 10. In the hand the upper appendages can be seen to be inwardly curved.
Females are a little more robust and appear blacker.