Banded demoiselle

Calopteryx splendens


The banded demoiselle is a large damselfly which lives along the edges of slow-flowing rivers and canals, still ponds and lakes and amongst lush vegetation. So named for the distinctive 'fingerprint' mark on the males' wings, banded demoiselles are very territorial, performing fluttering display flights to win over females. They are on the wing from May to August.

How to identify

Male banded demoiselles are metallic blue with broad, dark blue patches on each wing; females are metallic green with pale greenish wings. Of the UK's damselflies, only the banded demoiselle and similar beautiful demoiselle have coloured wings. The latter lives on smaller, faster-flowing rivers primarily in the west of the country and differs from the banded demoiselle by having almost entirely dark metallic wings.

Where to find it

England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

When to find it

  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August

How can people help

The Wildlife Trusts manage many wetland nature reserves for the benefit of all kinds of wildlife, including the banded demoiselle. But these precious sites are under threat from development, drainage and climate change. You can help by supporting your local Trust and becoming a member; you'll find out about exciting wildlife happenings, events on your doorstep and volunteering opportunities and be helping local wildlife along the way.

Species information

Common name
Banded demoiselle
Latin name
Calopteryx splendens
Dragonflies and damselflies
Length: 4.5cm
Conservation status