Blue-tailed damselfly

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Blue-tailed damselfly
Blue-tailed damselfly (Ischnura elegans) male adult.jpg
Mature male
Ischnura elegans LC0356.jpg
Female, form rufescens
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Odonata
Suborder: Zygoptera
Family: Coenagrionidae
Genus: Ischnura
Species: I. elegans
Binomial name
Ischnura elegans
(Vander Linden, 1820)

The blue-tailed damselfly (Ischnura elegans) is a European damselfly.


Adult male blue-tailed damselflies have a head and thorax patterned with blue and black. They have a largely black abdomen with very narrow pale markings where each segment joins the next. Segment eight, however, is entirely pale blue. At rest, the wings of most damselfly species are held back together, unlike dragonflies, which rest with their wings out flat. The thorax of juvenile males has a green tinge. A male can try to interfere with a mating pair, by attaching itself to the mating male.

Female forms[edit]

Female blue-tailed Damselflies come in a variety of colour forms. Juveniles may be salmon pink, form rufescens; violet, form violacea and a pale green form. The colour darkens as the damselfly ages. Mature females may be blue like the male, form typica; olive green thorax and brown spot, form infuscans or pale brown thorax and brown spot, form infusca-obseleta.


Blue-tailed Damselflies are superb fliers and can alter each of their four wing's kinematics in order to maneuver. A recent study has shown that they can compensate for a whole wing loss and even successfully maneuver and catch prey[1]

Damselfly nymphs are aquatic, and prey on small aquatic insects or other aquatic larvae. The adult damselflies prey on small flying insects, caught using their legs like a basket to scoop the prey up while flying, or insects taken from leaves.


  1. ^ Kassner, Ziv; Dafni, Eyal; Ribak, Gal (2016-02-01). "Kinematic compensation for wing loss in flying damselflies". Journal of Insect Physiology. 85: 1–9. doi:10.1016/j.jinsphys.2015.11.009.