Key Sites: The Small Red-eyed damselfly has been recorded at around 20 sites to date, after its discovery on the County in 2004.


It is associated with ponds and lakes containing rafts of Rigid Hornwort within which the larvae can often be found.


Good sites to view this species are Lyveden New Bield, Irthlingborough Gravel Pits and Grendon Fishing Lakes.


Spotting: The Small Red-eye is likely to be missed on many suitable ponds because of its resemblance to the "large" Red-eye. Size-wise, the Small Red-eye is more in line with the Common Blue Damselfly, while the "Large" Red-eye is noticeably larger and bulkier. The key characteristics to look for are the increased blue on the last 3 segments of the abdomen and at the beginning of the abdomen with the join to the thorax. The male also rest with the tip of his abdomen curled upwards. Mature females tend to be blue rather than the yellow of the "large" red-eye. This makes copulating or oviposting pairs easier to distinguish as there is an abundance of blue compared to the Red-eye.


County Status: Breeding was proven in 2006 when larvae were found at Lyveden New Bield. Its habit of emerging onto the Hornwort in the middle of the pond mean that the discovery of exuviae is unlikely


Still a scattered population, probably limited by the presence of Rigid Hornwort. Although this species has demonstrated itself to be highly mobile, it looks set to become firmly established in the County and long term study is required to confirm its continued expansion.

Small Red-eyed Damselfly

Erythromma viridulum

Small Red-eyed Damselfly, Higham Ferrers Gravel Pits, August 2008

Copyright Mark Tyrrell

Mating pair of Small Red-eyed Damselflies, Higham Ferrers Gravel Pits, August 2008

Copyright Mark Tyrrell