Common blue damselfly

Enallagma cyathigerum

About

The common blue damselfly lives up to its name in colour. Our most common damselfly, it is found around almost any waterbody and can also be found away from breeding sites in grassland and woodland. It is s a regular visitor to gardens and is on the wing from the end of May through to September. The common blue damselfly is an aggressive species: males will defend their females as they lay their eggs, both from their own kind and other species. As with other damselflies, when common blues mate they form a 'mating wheel' in which the male clasps the female by the neck and she bends her body around to his reproductive organs.

How to identify

The male common blue damselfly is pale blue with bands of black along the body; the female is either blue or dull green with distinctive black 'torpedo' markings. To identify the small blue damselflies, of which there are seven species in the UK, you should concentrate on the pattern on the second segment of the males' abdomen, just behind the thorax. In the common blue damselfly, this segment is blue with a black button mushroom-shaped mark.

Where to find it

Widespread.

Habitats

When to find it

  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September

How can people help

Human activity, including the drainage of land for agriculture and the loss of ponds through development, has resulted in the disappearance of many wetlands. The Wildlife Trusts are working closely with planners, developers and farmers to ensure our wetlands are protected. You can help too: encourage dragonflies and damselflies into your garden by having a wildlife-friendly pond. In partnership with the RHS, The Wildlife Trusts' Wild About Gardens initiative can help you plan your wildlife garden with plenty of facts and tips to get you started.

Please join your local wildlife trust today

Please join your local wildlife trust today

Please join your local wildlife trust today

Species information

Common name
Common blue damselfly
Latin name
Enallagma cyathigerum
Category
Invertebrates
Dragonflies and damselflies
Statistics
Length: 3.3cm
Conservation status
Common.