Description male female larva Irish distribution

Coenagrion puella

Coenagrion puella (Linnaeus, 1758)


Common name: Azure Damselfly

Preferred environment: well-vegetated mesotrophic to eutrophic ponds and sheltered lowland lakes and slow rivers and streams.

Flight period: end of April to mid September. In Ireland from the beginning of May to the end of August.

Adult habitat and habits: mature adults stay close to breeding sites resting and feeding in marginal and surrounding vegetation. Males are non-territorial patrolling breeding site for lone females or pairs in tandem. Females only approach breeding site when ready to mate and oviposit.

Oviposition site and behaviour: mostly oviposits in pairs into floating or submerged aquatic plants.

Larval habitat and habits: eggs hatch without diapause. Completes lifecycle in one year south of range, but takes longer in north of range or in poor conditions. Larvae live amongst plants and debris. Feed on crustaceans and insect larvae.

Emergence behaviour: emerges in mid-morning on marginal vegetation. Emergence at individual sites occurs over a period of a few weeks with average female emergence a day or two before males.

Range: southern and central Europe as far north as extreme south of Norway and Finland, north west Africa. Throughout lowland parts of Ireland, but uncommon above 200m and much of south and west.

Determination of adults: species is keyed and diagnostic characters of both sexes are figured in Askew (1988) mature adults are illustrated in colour in Askew (1988) and Brooks (1997).

Determination of larvae: keys to mature larvae in Askew (1988), Brooks (1997) and Norling and Sahlen (1997).


Nelson, B., Thompson, R. & Morrow, C., 2000 (May 2). [In] DragonflyIreland http://www.ulstermuseum.org.uk/dragonflyireland/


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