Description male female Irish distribution

Lestes dryas

Lestes dryas Kirby, 1890


Common name: Scarce Emerald Damselfly

Preferred environment: Shallow often temporary ponds and lakes with abundant emergent vegetation. Also in brackish ditches. In Ireland associated with well-vegetated turlough-like water bodies.

Flight period: July to September, emerging 15 days after L. sponsa (Aguesse 1968); adults recorded in Ireland between mid June and the end of August.

Adult habitat and habits: Adults stay close to breeding sites resting amongst dense vegetation. Appear rather reluctant flyers but clearly capable of dispersal and colonisation of suitable sites. Males are probably territorial.

Larval habitat and habits: larvae develop through all stages in spring and early summer.

Oviposition site and behaviour: Females oviposit in stems of plants just above water level or in vegetation around temporary pools. Eggs overwinter and hatch in spring.

Range: a Holarctic species. Throughout southern and central Europe north to central Finland. Very local in Atlantic fringe of NW Europe and in SE Europe. Across Asia to Japan and in North America. In Ireland distribution centred on east Clare and south-east Galway extending into Mayo with scattered records across midlands to Kildare and Wicklow.

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

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


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


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