Blue-tailed Damselfly

Ishnura elegans


Over all length 30 - 34mm. The male is predominantly black with blue on the thorax and tip of the abdomen, segment eight. The females can be similar but come in five colour forms, immature violacea, a violet form, which matures to typica, which is similar to the male; or infuscans, which is olive green on the sides of the thorax with a dull brown 'tail'. A second form, immature rufescens,  is pink to red on the sides of the thorax and matures to rufescens-obsoleta with dull brown sides to the thorax. Both sexes have bi-coloured wing spots (pterostigma) which are black, then white towards the wing tip.


In a wide range of still water habitats, though it avoids the more acid pools. Even breeds in brackish water. At Netherfield Lagoons it can be found across most of the site.

Status and distribution

Can be found across most of the British Isles, though less common away from the lowlands. At the lagoons is common but not as common as the Common Blue Damselfly and it is widespread in Nottinghamshire.

Best time to see

May to late August.