Willow Emerald Damselfly - Chalcolestes viridis


Length: 39 to 48 mm. Hindwing span: 23 to 48 mm. A dark metallic green damselfly with pale brown wing markings (pterostigma). 

Similar Species

Similar in appearance to the more common Emerald Damselfly.  Willow Emerald Damselfly is longer than Emerald Damselfly, appears thinner and lacks the blue pruinescense. The dark bordered pale brown pterostigma is a key identification feature of Willow Emerald Damselfly.

Identification difficulty
Recording advice

Unless identified by a recognised expert, a photo is required. If the photo doesn't show the key ID features then in the comments box describe the size and identifying characters you have observed.


Favoured habitat is shrub or tree-lined water bodies including ponds, lakes, canals and slow-flowing sections of rivers. Adults are often encountered perched on branch tips, with wings held at a characteristic 45 degree angle. Ovipositing scars on the tips of young willow shoots usually overhanging water indicate the presence and local breeding of this species

When to see it

Flying August and September and on into October.

UK Status

First British record came from Felixstowe in 2007 and it has spread rapidly. 

VC55 Status

First record for VC55 came from willows beside the Eye Brook inlet to Eyebrook Reservoir on 8th September 2019. This species is increasing in our area.

Leicestershire & Rutland Map


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

UK Map

Species profile

Common names
Green Emerald Damselfly, Willow Emerald Damselfly, Western Willow Spreadwing
Species group:
Dragonflies and Damselflies
Records on NatureSpot:
First record:
13/09/2019 (Pegler, Richard)
Last record:
03/03/2024 (Baker, Adrian)

Total records by month

% of records within its species group

10km squares with records

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