Spotlight on... Banded Demoiselle

Banded Demoiselle © Brian Walker

Banded Demoiselle

The Banded demoiselle (Calopteryx splendens) is one of the largest damselflies in the UK. It can usually be found flitting around vegetation of slow running streams, rivers, canals and ponds with muddy bottoms. The larvae live underwater amongst roots and vegetation for around two years until its emergence. They are quite vulnerable to water polution so their presence is usually a good indicator of water quality.

This damselfly gets its name from the male distinctive band in its wings. Males are very territorial, performing fluttering display fights to win over females. The only other damselfly with coloured wings is the similar-looking Beautiful demoiselle (Calopteryx virgo); however, this species is not as common and lives on smaller, fast-flowing rivers.

Where are Banded Demoiselles?

Banded demoiselles are usually seen between May to August/September.

Our database only includes information which people have provided us (and we have collected), so a lack of records doesn’t mean that Banded demoiselles aren’t present in the area. All it means is that no-one has told TVERC they’ve spotted them… yet!

Have you seen any Banded Demoiselles?

If you spot any wildlife when you’re out and about, share your records and photos with TVERC. By letting TVERC know what you have seen you will help protect and improve your local environment by increasing the quality and quantity of data we hold. Photographs are always helpful too, as we keep an image gallery of species found in Oxfordshire and Berkshire.

Absence records are also very useful, so also let us know if you’ve been out and haven’t seen anything!

Your records can inform a variety of exciting biodiversity projects and help people make informed decisions about how to develop and manage land sustainably. We are a ‘not for profit’ organisation so rely on valuable help from skilled volunteers to improve our database.

Identification help

Banded demoiselles are easy to identify, the male banded demoiselles are metallic blue, with distinctive dark blue band across the wings, and the females are a metallic shiny green with translucent greenish wings.

Find out more

Check out the links below for more information on Banded demoiselles!