Family: Odanata (Dragonflies and damselflies)
Latin Name: Calopteryx splendens
Male Banded Demoiselle – all photos by Stroud Nature
The Banded Demoiselle frequents slow flowing streams, rivers and canals where there is plenty of bankside vegetation. It is usually seen flying just above the water in a flitting, butterfly like dance. The male is unmistakable with its metallic blue/turquoise body and dark blue/black bands covering half of its wings.
Female Banded Demoiselle
The female is emerald green, tinged gold and the wings lack the banding. The wings of demoiselles are held along the length of their abdomens.
Male and female mating
Males and females are often seen in their courtship flight. After mating, the female lays her eggs by injecting them into the hollow stems of submerged plants. The larvae hatch after two weeks and can spend two years in the water, living in the muddy bottom and feeding on other water invertebrates. They are voracious predators.
In the Stroud Valleys, you will find them along the River Frome and the Cotswold Canals, particularly on the Stroudwater Navigation, west of Stonehouse.