Description male female larva Irish distribution

Calopteryx splendens

Calopteryx splendens (Harris, 1782)


Common name: Banded Demoiselle

Preferred environment: lowland lotic sites of moderate to slow flow with muddy or silty beds. Will tolerate some shade and may also occur on lakes.

Flight period: end of April to September according to locality. In Ireland from end of May to mid August.

Adult habitat and habits: Adults take 7-10 days to mature after emergence and do not appear on breeding sites until then. Mature males either hold territories on suitable egg-laying sites or perch on riverside vegetation. Territorial males will court females, perching males attempt to mate with any female. Females only visit rivers when ready to oviposit.

Oviposition site and behaviour: females oviposit alone and often submerged, into plant tissues of floating and emergent species with male guarding.

Larval habitat and habits: larvae take two years to develop. Live amongst vegetation and tend to be most active at night.

Emergence behaviour: larvae leave river and may move up to 100m prior to emergence which usually happens on shrub or tree

Range: Europe except for Iberia, southern Italy and Greece and most of Fennoscandia. Across Asia to China. Generally distributed through lowlands in Ireland.

Determination of adults: species is keyed in Maibach (1987). Mature adults of both sexes are illustrated in colour in Askew (1988) and Brooks (1997).

Determination of larvae: keys to mature larvae are 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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