On the first day of National Dragonfly Week I showed you the Beautiful Demoiselle; today we have the other damselfly in the Demoiselle species, the only damselflies in Britain to have coloured wings. This is the Banded Demoiselle (Calopteryx splendens), and you can see immediately from the bands of colour on the males’ wings how it got its common name.
These damselflies are simply gorgeous, the male (above) a stunning metallic blue and the female (below) an equally spectacular metallic green. Common in Wales and all but the northernmost counties of England, they can be seen flying around lakes and ponds and along canals and slow-moving rivers and streams, from late April to early September. Banded Demoiselles are quite sensitive to pollution so their presence is a good sign that the local water source is clean.
The male is territorial and also a bit of a show-off. He performs a delightful display of aeronautic dance moves in his attempts to impress the females – the damselfly version of Patrick Swayze in Dirty Dancing!