Did You Know? 19 Incredible Emerald Damselfly Facts

Emerald damselfly facts are all about the metallic green colored damselfly.

Did you know that the term 'damselfly' means 'equal winged'? The species is also popularly known by the name common spreadwing, owing to its famous action of resting with half-opened wings rather than spreading its wings to their full length. This habit is a defining characteristic of the Lestidae family. This family comprises six similar-looking species in Europe, making identification pretty challenging, but the shimmery metallic green hue and blue eyes of these damselflies set them apart from others. They are abundant from June to September, commonly found perching among reeds in stagnant lake and pond waters. The emerald green color of these damselflies helps them to camouflage among vegetative covers.

The species is generally nonchalant of other damselflies unless they feel threatened. Male damselflies portray violent behavior only when it comes to competing with males of the same species. A male can even end up fighting with another male, sometimes until one of them dies. This is especially common if another male tries to encroach upon his territory or steal his female partner.

If you are inquisitive about dragonflies and damselflies then don't forget to check out these mesmerizing facts about the damselfly and the hairy dragonfly.

Emerald Damselfly

Fact File

What do they prey on?

Small insects

What do they eat?


Average litter size?


How much do they weigh?


How long are they?

1.5 in (3.8 cm)

How tall are they?


What do they look like?

Metallic green

Skin Type


What are their main threats?

Human activities

What is their conservation status?

Least Concern

Where you'll find them

Rivers, streams, marshes, swamps, lakes, saline lagoons, canals, drainage channels


Central Europe and Asia





Scientific Name

Lestes sponsa





Emerald Damselfly Interesting Facts

What type of animal is an emerald damselfly?

The emerald spreadwing damselfly (Lestes sponsa) is a predatory aerial insect species belonging to the family Lestidae.

What class of animal does an emerald damselfly belong to?

The species has been grouped under the Insecta class.

How many emerald damselflies are there in the world?

An accurate population number for the species is unknown due to the lack of quantification. However, the population trend is stable within their habitat.

Where does an emerald damselfly live?

The population of the emerald damselfly is spread throughout Central Europe and Asia. They can be located in southern Italy, Greece, southern Spain, and North Africa. The species is also the only common damselfly in Great Britain.

What is an emerald damselfly's habitat?

The habitat range of the species consists of rivers, streams, marshes, swamps, lakes, saline lagoons, canals, and drainage channels. They prefer to avoid fast-moving waterbodies and mostly remain concealed within areas with green vegetative cover.

Who do emerald damselflies live with?

It's common to spot a male and female damselfly sticking together during the breeding season.

How long does an emerald damselfly live?

Damselfly species have a short lifespan. Normally, these insects do not survive for more than one or two weeks, but on rare occasions, they can live for three or four weeks.

How do they reproduce?

Damselflies form pairs to reproduce and the female lays eggs among vegetative matter floating on the water surface. These eggs laid by the female stay submerged in water for about half an hour. Once the eggs are laid, they develop for the following weeks until the prolarva hatches. This stage is followed by the larval stage, where larvae engage in hunting and feeding, until the cycle of growth completes.

What is their conservation status?

As per the observations of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List, the emerald damselfly (Lestes sponsa), with its widespread population, falls under the Least Concern group.

Emerald Damselfly Fun Fact

What do emerald damselflies look like?

With a shiny metallic green body, these emerald damselflies are medium in size. An adult male has blue eyes as well as a powder blue hue on its prothorax. This blue coloration is absent in both females and immature males. The thorax and edge of the abdomen are blue as well. Along with the bright metallic green, the females possess beige strips in the thorax region. The species draws close resemblance to the scarce emerald damselfly. Blue and green are the dominant colors of the species. They have a slender, fragile body with two pairs of wings.

Emerald damselfly facts are about the insects also known as common spreadwings.

How cute are they?

Emerald damselflies, with their beautiful metallic green sheen, might be appealing to the eyes of a wildlife enthusiast, but they are normally not considered when it comes to cuteness.

How do they communicate?

Wings play a significant role in communication for these insects. A male damselfly dances and boasts his colorful wings to please his female counterpart. In this manner, the male proves his quality as well as claims his territory.

How big is an emerald damselfly?

Damselflies are usually smaller than dragonflies. The emerald damselfly measures around 1.5 in (3.8 cm) and the species is comparatively smaller than the Megaloprepus caerulatus species, measuring around 7.5 in (19 cm).

How fast can emerald damselflies move?

The emerald damselfly species is not known to be a strong flier. They tend to avoid flying for long distances and can be mostly spotted on rainy or misty days. The exact flight speed of the species has not been discovered yet.

How much does an emerald damselfly weigh?

With an elongated, slender body, the emerald damselfly is pretty lightweight.

What are their male and female names of the species?

Neither males nor females have special names in this species.

What would you call a baby emerald damselfly?

A baby emerald damselfly is called a larva or a nymph.

What do they eat?

The emerald damselfly is carnivorous, feeding on small insects such as flies, mosquitoes, worms, and bugs.

Are they harmful?

Damselflies are one of the most beautiful creations of nature. These insects might be aggressive predators when chewing down their prey bit by bit but they're absolutely harmless towards humans. The species is not known to bite or even sting. They are not poisonous.

Would they make a good pet?

The species is not a common household pet so its behavior as a pet is still unclear. However, these harmless little insects can be found in nearby gardens and lakes with irises, water lilies, and buttercups.

Did you know...

Have you ever tried to attract an emerald damselfly? It's not very difficult. If you have a variety of colorful flowering plants or a garden with a small lake then an emerald damselfly might decide to hunt down some of those delicious bugs and insects in your yard.

Damselflies have a reputation for being cannibals!

A damselfly is known to symbolize direction and purpose, as these little insects are great navigators.  

What kills the emerald damselfly?

The blue-eyed emerald damselfly is currently plentiful within its geographical range and is not yet extinct. However, polluted water and a lack of food sources can both pose threats to the survival of individual damselflies.

What is special about emerald damselfly?

Have you ever had the chance to behold this damselfly with an emerald green body? The most unique feature about this species is its glamorous metallic green color and its blue eyes. Also, unlike other damselflies, the emerald damselfly habitually folds its wings in half while perching.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these bowerbird facts and umbrellabird facts for kids.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable scarlet robin coloring pages.



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