Ceriagrion tenellum (Small Red Damselfly)

One of the smaller damselflies in our region and a relatively weak flier. It seems to have a somewhat sparse distribution in the UK, being limited to southern areas and west Wales. Some of our spots come from the New Forest.

“The Small Red is all red” stands you in good stead – for the male, at least. Tenerals and females are a little trickier, of course.

Females come in three or four colour forms, depending upon author. As with Pyrrhosoma nymphula (Large Red Damselfly), the names of the forms get confused in the area of typica and intermedia. Small Red Females and Large Red Females are my articles attempting to to make sense of this naming confusion.

Having clarified that, for consistency I go with the K-D Dijkstra and R. R. Askew approach for C. tenellum, the four female forms in increasing amounts of black being:

  1. erythrogastrum (no black; entirely red abdomen like a male);
  2. intermedia (anything between ethyrogastrum and typica);
  3. typica (black with S1, S2, most of S3, S9 & S10 red);
  4. melanogastrum (dorsal side of entire abdomen black)

Id Notes

  • thorax is bronze-black dorsally
  • ♂ – red abdomen, eyes, legs and pterostigma
  • ♀- see above for colouration
female f. erythrogastrum
female f. intermedia
female f. typica
female f. melanogastrum
teneral female
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