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 forms. Adding to the confusion [well, mine, at least], one of those forms has two names depending upon your chosen author. The female forms are: erythrogastrum; typica/intermedia; melanogastrum.
- thorax is bronze-black dorsally
- ♂ – red abdomen, eyes, legs and pterostigma
- ♀ f. erythrogastrum – red abdomen very similar to the male
- ♀ f. typica/intermedia – bronze-black with S2-3 and S9-10 mostly red
- ♀ f. melanogastrum – entirely bronze/black abdomen