Blue-tailed damselfly

Ischnura elegans


The blue-tailed damselfly is a small, dark damselfly and one of the commonest species in the UK. It is particularly common in garden ponds but can also be found around almost any waterbody and away from its breeding sites in grassland and woodland. It is on the wing from the end of May through to September.

How to identify

The male blue-tailed damselfly is mostly black in colour, with a pale blue band towards the end of the body, blue eyes and blue on the thorax. Females are variable in colour from blue forms to violet. The smaller scarce blue-tailed damselfly is a much rarer species, found around temporary ponds in the south and west. The two species of red-eyed damselflies are similar but more robust and have bright red eyes.

Where to find it



When to find it

  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September

How can people help

The Wildlife Trusts manage many wetland nature reserves for the benefit of all kinds of wildlife, including the blue-tailed damselfly. But these precious sites are under threat from development, drainage and climate change. You can help by supporting your local Trust and becoming a member; you'll find out about exciting wildlife happenings, events on your doorstep and volunteering opportunities and be helping local wildlife along the way.

Species information

Common name
Blue-tailed damselfly
Latin name
Ischnura elegans
Dragonflies and damselflies
Length: 3.2cm
Conservation status