Beautiful Demoiselle (Calopteryx virgo)
Species
Beautiful Demoiselle (Calopteryx virgo). Male. Taken at Crockford Stream, Hants, on July 15th 2011. Approx 3x lifesize.
Male. Taken at Crockford Stream, Hants, on July 15th 2011.
(1/100th sec at f8. Approx 2x lifesize. Click image for a larger version. © David Hastings)
Beautiful Demoiselle (Calopteryx virgo). Immature male. Taken at Bernwood Forest, Bucks, on June 23rd 2012. Approx 3x lifesize.
Immature male. Taken at Bernwood Forest, Bucks, on June 23rd 2012.
(1/400th sec at f13. Approx 2x lifesize. Click image for a larger version. © David Hastings)
Beautiful Demoiselle (Calopteryx virgo). Female. Taken at Crockford Stream, Hants, on July 15th 2011. Approx 3x lifesize.
Female. Taken at Crockford Stream, Hants, on July 15th 2011.
(1/40th sec at f13. Approx 2x lifesize. Click image for a larger version. © David Hastings)

Description

Wingspan: 58 - 72 mm; Body length: 45 - 49 mm

A large and distinctive damselfly. The male has dark cobalt blue wings with iridescent blue veins. The body is metallic blue-green. Immature males have all-brown wings. The female has transparent greenish to deep ebony wings and white pterostigma.

It is mainly found in the south and west of England and Wales, and southern Ireland. It is scarce over most of the rest of the British Isles.

The Beautiful Demoiselle is one of the few species which is restricted to running water, often acidic, with a sandy or gravelly bottom.

Females lay up to 300 eggs at a time into emergent or floating vegetation. The eggs hatch after fourteen days. The larva is stick-like with very long legs. It takes two years to develop into an adult. The flight period is May to August.

Males are territorial, perching in bankside vegetation or trees. They flick their wings open and shut, and chase passing insects, often returning to the same perch. Females live away from water unless egg-laying or seeking a mate.

A locally common species.

Sightings

02-Jul-2018 : Bernwood Forest, Bucks (1m)
25-Jun-2018 : Eskdale, Cumbria (1m,1f)
24-Jun-2018 : Wasdale, Cumbria (2m)
18-Jun-2018 : Otmoor, Oxon (1m)
18-Jun-2018 : Whitecross Green Wood, Oxon (1m)

01-Jul-2017 : Waterperry Wood, Oxon (1f)
01-Jul-2017 : Bernwood Forest, Bucks (1f)
18-Jun-2017 : Waterperry Wood, Oxon (3m)
15-Jun-2017 : Whitecross Green Wood, Oxon (1f)
06-Jun-2017 : Plitvicka Jezera National Park, Croatia (10+)
30-May-2017 : Otmoor, Oxon (3m)
27-May-2017 : Bucknell Wood, Northants (2m)

26-Jun-2016 : Bernwood Forest, Bucks (1m)
19-Jun-2016 : Whitecross Green Wood, Oxon (1m)
22-May-2016 : Goring Railway Bridge, Oxon (1m)

22-Jul-2015 : Kresna Gorge, Bulgaria
22-Jul-2015 : nr Lilyanovo, Bulgaria
04-Jul-2015 : Bernwood Forest, Bucks (2)
03-Jul-2015 : Bernwood Forest, Bucks (1f)

24-Jun-2014 : nr Novo Hodzhovo, Bulgaria
23-Jun-2014 : Borino, Bulgaria
22-Jun-2014 : Plazishte, Bulgaria
21-Jun-2014 : Byal gradets, Bulgaria
21-Jun-2014 : nr Gugutka, Bulgaria
20-Jun-2014 : Valchi Dol, Bulgaria
05-Jun-2014 : Marston Meadows, Oxon (1)