Banded Demoiselle (Calopteryx splendens)
Banded Demoiselle (Calopteryx splendens). Male. Taken at Belabre, France on June 26th 2010.
Male. Taken at Belabre, France on June 26th 2010.
(1/200th sec at f11. Approx 2x lifesize. Click image for larger version. © David Hastings)
Banded Demoiselle (Calopteryx splendens). Female. Taken at Standlake, Oxon., on June 2nd 2018.
Female. Taken at Standlake, Oxon., on June 2nd 2018.
(1/400th sec at f13. Approx 2x lifesize. Click image for larger version. © David Hastings)


Wingspan: 54 - 70 mm; body length: 45 - 48 mm

An unmistakable demoiselle. The male has translucent wings which each have a broad, dark iridescent blue-black spot (or band) across the outer part. On immature dragonflies the spot is dark brown. The female has translucent, pale green iridescent wings with a white patch near the tip, and a metallic green body.

It is common in southern England, Wales and Ireland. It is absent from Scotland and rare in northern England.

This species is characteristic of mature, slow-flowing streams and rivers with muddy sediment.

Females can lay up to 10 eggs per minute for 45 minutes. They lay in a wide variety of emergent or floating plants, sometimes even submerging to do so. The eggs hatch after 14 days. The larvae have very long legs and are stick-shaped. They usually take two years to develop into adults. The flight period is May to August.

Males are territorial. They court females by flicking their wings open and performing an aerial dance in front of them. Females stay away from water unless looking for a mate or egg-laying.

This species is common and widespread.


25-Aug-2019 : Farmoor Reservoir, Oxon (2m)
27-Jun-2019 : Standlake Common, Oxon (2m,2f)
24-Jun-2019 : Otmoor, Oxon (1f)
20-Jun-2019 : Standlake Common, Oxon (1m,2f)
18-Jun-2019 : Barton Fields, Abingdon, Oxon (2)
18-Jun-2019 : Abingdon, Oxon (2)
09-Jun-2019 : Farmoor Reservoir, Oxon (6m,2f)
03-Jun-2019 : Whitecross Green Wood, Oxon (3m,2f)
02-Jun-2019 : Abingdon, Oxon (13m,3f)
02-Jun-2019 : Radley Lakes, Oxon (2m)
01-Jun-2019 : Ardley Quarry, Oxon (1f)
16-May-2019 : Abingdon, Oxon (6m,2f)
13-May-2019 : Farmoor Reservoir, Oxon (9m,3f)
11-May-2019 : Abingdon, Oxon (1m,1f)
01-May-2019 : Farmoor Reservoir, Oxon (2)

21-Jun-2018 : Whelford Pools, Glos (3m)
20-Jun-2018 : Standlake Common, Oxon (10m,11f)
18-Jun-2018 : Otmoor, Oxon (1m)
18-Jun-2018 : Whitecross Green Wood, Oxon (1m)
10-Jun-2018 : Barnwell Country Park, Northants (100+)
08-Jun-2018 : Barnwell Country Park, Northants (100+)
06-Jun-2018 : Otmoor, Oxon (3m)
02-Jun-2018 : Standlake Common, Oxon (2m,5f)
02-Jun-2018 : Farmoor Reservoir, Oxon (20+m,7+f)
18-May-2018 : Barton Fields, Abingdon, Oxon (2m,1f)
15-May-2018 : Cholsey Marsh, Oxon (5m,4f)
13-May-2018 : Farmoor Reservoir, Oxon (6m,5f)
11-May-2018 : Farmoor Reservoir, Oxon (1f)

29-Jul-2017 : Standlake Common, Oxon (1f)
17-Jun-2017 : Standlake Common, Oxon (2m,5f)
03-Jun-2017 : Abingdon, Oxon (19m,11f)
03-Jun-2017 : Barton Fields, Abingdon, Oxon (4m,3f)
21-May-2017 : Abingdon, Oxon (5m,4f)

06-Aug-2016 : Greenham Common, Berks (1m)
07-Jun-2016 : Barton Fields, Abingdon, Oxon (1f)
22-May-2016 : Goring Railway Bridge, Oxon (7m,4f)

23-Jul-2015 : Papaz Tchair, Bulgaria
21-Jul-2015 : nr Petrovo, Bulgaria
20-Jul-2015 : Kresna Gorge, Bulgaria
03-Jul-2015 : Bernwood Forest, Bucks (1)
01-Jul-2015 : Oxford, Oxon (1m)
29-Jun-2015 : University Parks, Oxford, Oxon (1f)
11-Jun-2015 : University Parks, Oxford, Oxon (2f)
07-Jun-2015 : Goring Railway Bridge, Oxon (33m,19f)
04-Jun-2015 : Marston Meadows, Oxon (1m)
28-May-2015 : Marston Meadows, Oxon (1m)
04-May-2015 : Cholsey Marsh, Oxon (1f)