Common Blue Damselfly (Enallagma cyathigerum)
Species
Common Blue Damselfly (Enallagma cyathigerum). Male. Taken at Farmoor, Oxon, on May 31st 2010. Approx 5.4x lifesize.
Male. Taken at Farmoor, Oxon, on May 31st 2010.
(1/50th sec at f10. Approx 3.25x lifesize. Click image for larger version. © David Hastings)
Common Blue Damselfly (Enallagma cyathigerum). Male. Taken at Farmoor, Oxon, on May 31st 2010. Approx 4.25x lifesize.
Male. Taken at Farmoor, Oxon, on May 31st 2010.
(1/125th sec at f10. Approx 2.5x lifesize. Click image for larger version. © David Hastings)
Common Blue Damselfly (Enallagma cyathigerum). Female. Taken at Seven Barrows, Berks, on May 7th 2011. Approx 4.25x lifesize.
Female. Taken at Seven Barrows, Berks, on May 7th 2011.
(1/200th sec at f14. Approx 2.5x lifesize. Click image for larger version. © David Hastings)
Common Blue Damselfly mating wheel (Enallagma cyathigerum). Mating wheel. Taken at Otmoor, Oxon on July 20th 2014. Approx 4.25x lifesize.
Mating wheel. Taken at Otmoor, Oxon on July 20th 2014.
(1/800th sec at f13. Approx 2x lifesize. Click image for larger version. © David Hastings)

Description

Wingspan: 30 - 42 mm; body length: 29 - 36 mm

This species is the most widely distributed and often the most abundant Damselfly. It shares its blue and black colouration with several other species. It can be distinguished from them by its broad ante-humeral stripes and the lack of the 'Coenagrion spur' on the side of the thorax. In the male, S2 has a characteristic mark of a spot linked to the inter-segment suture by a short line. S8 and S9 are entirely blue. The female occurs in two colour forms, one blue, as in the male, the other dull green or brown. The mark on S2 is thistle-shaped and there is a stepped triangle on S8. It has an obvious spine in front of the ovipositor, under S8.

This species is found throughout the British Isles.

It occurs in a wide variety of waters, both still and flowing, although it shuns very small ponds. It tolerates both nutrient-poor and enriched conditions.

Eggs are laid while 'in tandem' into surface vegetation. Larvae take a year to develop in the south, but two or more years in the north. Adults are usually on the wing from late April to September.

Males will fly well out over open water in sunny conditions. They are aggresseive when in pursuit of females. Immatures often disperse well away from water.

A widespread and common species.

Sightings

04-Sep-2018 : Radley Lakes, Oxon (10)
30-Aug-2018 : Farmoor Reservoir, Oxon (1)
25-Aug-2018 : Standlake Common, Oxon (13)
20-Aug-2018 : Otmoor, Oxon (2)
05-Aug-2018 : Radley Lakes, Oxon (9)
24-Jul-2018 : Vercors Natural Park, France
17-Jul-2018 : Radley Lakes, Oxon (5)
12-Jul-2018 : Parsonage Moor, Oxon (2)
10-Jul-2018 : Crookham Common, Berks (20)
10-Jul-2018 : Greenham Common, Berks (15)
01-Jul-2018 : Silchester Common, Hants (9)
28-Jun-2018 : Myers Allotment, Lancashire (6)
28-Jun-2018 : Leighton Moss, Lancashire (2)
28-Jun-2018 : Foulshaw Moss, Cumbria (50+)
27-Jun-2018 : Gait Barrows NNR, Lancashire (6)
26-Jun-2018 : Leighton Moss, Lancashire (50+)
23-Jun-2018 : Meathop Moss, Cumbria (10+)
21-Jun-2018 : Whelford Pools, Glos (100+)
02-Jun-2018 : Farmoor Reservoir, Oxon (200+)
02-Jun-2018 : Standlake Common, Oxon (250+)
27-May-2018 : Bucknell Wood, Northants (1)
27-May-2018 : Ardley Quarry, Oxon (4)
26-May-2018 : Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon (2)
25-May-2018 : Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon (2 ten)
20-May-2018 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (2)
18-May-2018 : Barton Fields, Abingdon, Oxon (20+)
18-May-2018 : Radley Lakes, Oxon (50+)
15-May-2018 : Lardon Chase, Berks (1)
14-May-2018 : Otmoor, Oxon (50+)
13-May-2018 : Farmoor Reservoir, Oxon (2)

13-Sep-2017 : Radley Lakes, Oxon (3)
31-Aug-2017 : Farmoor Reservoir, Oxon (1)
27-Aug-2017 : Standlake Common, Oxon (2)
06-Aug-2017 : Parsonage Moor, Oxon (1)
01-Aug-2017 : Farmoor Reservoir, Oxon (4)
29-Jul-2017 : Standlake Common, Oxon (12+)
18-Jul-2017 : Greenham Common, Berks (5+)
01-Jul-2017 : Whitecross Green Wood, Oxon (1)
17-Jun-2017 : Standlake Common, Oxon (250+)
14-Jun-2017 : Whelford Pools, Glos (250+)
13-Jun-2017 : Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
03-Jun-2017 : Abingdon, Oxon (20+)
03-Jun-2017 : Barton Fields, Abingdon, Oxon (10+)
28-May-2017 : Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon (4)
27-May-2017 : Bucknell Wood, Northants (2)
21-May-2017 : Abingdon, Oxon (2+)
14-May-2017 : Whelford Pools, Glos (20+)
10-May-2017 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (2)

07-Aug-2016 : Otmoor, Oxon (1)
23-Jul-2016 : Bernwood Meadows, Bucks (2)
19-Jul-2016 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (2)
16-Jul-2016 : Crookham Common, Berks (6+)
16-Jul-2016 : Silchester Common, Hants (1+)
07-Jul-2016 : Fermyn Wood, Northants (2)
04-Jul-2016 : Leighton Moss, Lancashire (2)
03-Jul-2016 : Gait Barrows NNR, Lancashire (4)
02-Jul-2016 : Foulshaw Moss, Cumbria (5)
28-Jun-2016 : Dry Sandford Pit, Oxon (1)
25-Jun-2016 : Whelford Pools, Glos (150+)
17-Jun-2016 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
12-Jun-2016 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
09-Jun-2016 : University Parks, Oxford, Oxon (6+)
07-Jun-2016 : Barton Fields, Abingdon, Oxon (3+)
27-May-2016 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
27-May-2016 : Dry Sandford Pit, Oxon (2)
26-May-2016 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (2)
08-May-2016 : Whelford Pools, Glos (2+)

12-Sep-2015 : Radley Lakes, Oxon (25+)
15-Aug-2015 : Rushy Common, Oxon (75+)
02-Aug-2015 : Otmoor, Oxon (2)
18-Jul-2015 : Silchester Common, Hants (2)
18-Jul-2015 : Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon (1m)
18-Jul-2015 : Crookham Common, Berks (20+)
09-Jul-2015 : University Parks, Oxford, Oxon (4)
09-Jul-2015 : Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon (2)
04-Jul-2015 : Otmoor, Oxon (50+)
04-Jul-2015 : Charndon, Bucks (10)
04-Jul-2015 : Calvert Jubilee, Oxon (150+)
02-Jul-2015 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
02-Jul-2015 : Dry Sandford Pit, Oxon (2)
01-Jul-2015 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
29-Jun-2015 : Marston Meadows, Oxon (4)
29-Jun-2015 : University Parks, Oxford, Oxon (6)
21-Jun-2015 : Otmoor, Oxon (30+)
18-Jun-2015 : Haddon Moor, Somerset (1)
13-Jun-2015 : Barton Fields, Abingdon, Oxon (1m)
06-Jun-2015 : Dry Sandford Pit, Oxon (2 ten)
28-May-2015 : Marston Meadows, Oxon (1)
16-May-2015 : Pitstone, Bucks (20+)

28-Sep-2014 : Radley Lakes, Oxon (7)
28-Aug-2014 : Otmoor, Oxon (1)
03-Aug-2014 : Otmoor, Oxon (2)
31-Jul-2014 : Myers Allotment, Lancashire (1)
28-Jul-2014 : Gait Barrows NNR, Lancashire (6)
20-Jul-2014 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
20-Jul-2014 : Otmoor, Oxon (15)
20-Jul-2014 : Calvert Jubilee, Oxon (9)
19-Jul-2014 : Hinksey Lake, Oxford, Oxon (6+)
19-Jul-2014 : Marston Meadows, Oxon (4+)
10-Jul-2014 : Marston Meadows, Oxon (1)
06-Jul-2014 : Whitecross Green Wood, Oxon (1)
05-Jul-2014 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (4)
02-Jul-2014 : North Cave Wetlands, E. Yorkshire (1)
30-Jun-2014 : Tophill Low, E. Yorks (6)
29-Jun-2014 : Crowle Moor, N. Lincs (10+)
25-Jun-2014 : Rupite Hot Springs, Bulgaria
16-Jun-2014 : Daneway Banks, Gloucs (4)
16-Jun-2014 : Whelford Pools, Glos (200+)
14-Jun-2014 : Dry Sandford Pit, Oxon (1m,2f)
10-Jun-2014 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
08-Jun-2014 : Parsonage Moor, Oxon (2m,2f)
06-Jun-2014 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (3)
18-May-2014 : Lardon Chase, Berks (4)
26-Apr-2014 : Whelford Pools, Glos (1)