Large Red Damselfly - Pyrrhosoma nymphula

Description

Often the earliest dragonfly or damselfly to appear, it is relatively easy to identify being red and black, with the black legs, which distinguish it from the Small Red Damselfly. 
Larvae are distinctive with extended wing sheaths, which reach almost to abdominal section 6. The head is squarish, with a straight line forming its rear margin. Two dark bands are present on the femur. Broad, strongly pointed lamellae with characteristic dark spotting.

Identification difficulty
Habitat

The Large Red Damselfly has a preference for well-vegetated sites, and is found on a variety of water bodies including ponds, lakes, rivers and canals.

When to see it

Mid April until the end of August.

Life History

The Large Red normally has a two year life cycle. Unusually for dragonflies, the larvae are territorial as well as the adult males.

UK Status

Widespread throughout most of Britain.

VC55 Status

This species is widely distributed though somewhat local within the VC55 area.

Further Information

This species is widely distributed though somewhat local within VC55. The Large Red Damselfly has a preference for well-vegetated sites, and is found on a variety of water bodies including ponds, lakes, rivers and canals. The Charnwood area would appear to be a stronghold, though records have been received from scattered locations throughout VC 55 (Grover and Ikin, 1994). Historically it has been described as 'widely distributed' (Gillman, 1936) and 'abundant' (Longfield, 1949), though it seems unlikely that it was ever more widely distributed than it is at present.

Leicestershire & Rutland Map

MAP KEY:

Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map

Species profile

Common names
Large Red Damselfly, Large Red Damsel
Species group:
Dragonflies and Damselflies
Kingdom:
Animalia
Order:
Odonata
Family:
Coenagrionidae
Records on NatureSpot:
590
First record:
01/06/1947 (Wesley, Isaac)
Last record:
27/06/2024 (Hollingworth, Jane)

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% of records within its species group

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