Lestes dryas Lestidae Scarce Emerald Damselfly

Biology male female Irish distribution

Lestes dryas

Rare, but can be abundant in suitable sites. Flight period is form mid June to late August. Confined to wetlands in central Ireland from Clare to Wicklow and north to Mayo. Breeds in temporary waterbodies either natural or artificial. A characteristic turlough species but also found in other wetlands with fluctuating water levels.

The Scarce Emerald is similar to the Emerald Damselfly Lestes sponsa and positive identification requires examination in the hand. However the former is a more robust species and the males have much brighter blue eyes. The males can be distinguished by the shape of the inferior anal appendages which are straight in the Emerald but curve inwards in the Scarce Emerald. Females of the two species can be distinguished by the shape of the spots on the second abdominal segment which are teardrop-shaped in the Emerald Damselfly and square or rectangular in the Scarce Emerald.


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Nelson, B., Thompson, R. & Morrow, C., 2000 (May 8). [In] DragonflyIreland http://www.ulstermuseum.org.uk/dragonflyireland/

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