Comparison: Male and Female Spreadwings

The UK is home to four Emerald Damselflies/Spreadwings:

  • Lestes sponsa (Common Spreadwing/Emerald Damselfly)
  • Lestes dryas (Robust Spreadwing/Scarce Emerald)
  • Lestes barbarus (Migrant Spreadwing/Southern Emerald)
  • Chalcolestes viridis (Western Willow Spreadwing/Willow Emerald)

Only one is widespread: the Emerald Damselfly (Lestes sponsa). The Willow Emerald/Western Willow Spreadwing (Chalcolestes viridis), began colonizing the UK in 2009 and is spreading very successfully from its initial bridgehead near Ipswich, Suffolk; it is becoming more widespread. You have to go looking for the other two. 😉

[If this diagram proves difficult to read, clicking on it will get you a slightly larger image.]


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