List of Odonata species of Ireland

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Dragonfly (top) and damselfly (bottom) wing shape and venation. Damselflies are also distinguished by the gap between their eyes, and the fact that they hold their wings folded back over the abdomen while at rest.

The following is a list of Odonata species recorded in Ireland. Common names are those given in the standard literature; where a different name has been given in The Natural History of Ireland's Dragonflies, this is given in brackets.[1]

Suborder Zygoptera (Damselflies)[edit]

Two banded demoiselles (Calopteryx splendens) mating.

Family Calopterygidae (Demoiselles)[edit]

Banded Demoiselle Calopteryx splendens (Banded Jewelwing)
Beautiful Demoiselle Calopteryx virgo (Beautiful Jewelwing)

Family Lestidae (Emerald damselflies)[edit]

Scarce Emerald Damselfly Lestes dryas (Turlough Spreadwing)
Emerald Damselfly Lestes sponsa (Common Spreadwing)

Family Coenagrionidae (Blue, blue-tailed & red damselflies)[edit]

The Irish damselfly (Coenagrion lunulatum) is found in Ireland but not in Great Britain.
Irish Damselfly Coenagrion lunulatum (Irish Bluet)
Azure Damselfly Coenagrion puella (Azure Bluet)
Variable Damselfly Coenagrion pulchellum (Variable Bluet)
Common Blue Damselfly Enallagma cyathigerum (Common Bluet)
Blue-tailed Damselfly Ischnura elegans (Common Bluetip)
Scarce Blue-tailed Damselfly Ischnura pumilio (Small Bluetip)
Large Red Damselfly Pyrrhosoma nymphula (Spring Redtail)

Suborder Anisoptera (Dragonflies)[edit]

Family Gomphidae (Club-tailed Dragonflies)[edit]

Common Club-tail Gomphus vulgatissimus (Club-tailed Dragonfly)

Family Aeshnidae (Hawkers and Emperors)[edit]

Hairy dragonfly (Brachytron pratense)
Southern Hawker Aeshna cyanea
Brown Hawker Aeshna grandis (Amber-winged Hawker)
Common Hawker Aeshna juncea (Moorland Hawker)
Migrant Hawker Aeshna mixta (Autumn Hawker)
Emperor Anax imperator (Blue Emperor)
Lesser Emperor Anax parthenope (Yellow-ringed Emperor)
Hairy Dragonfly Aeshna grandis (Spring Hawker)
Vagrant Emperor Hemianax ephippiger

Family Corduliidae (Emerald dragonflies)[edit]

Downy Emerald Cordulia aenea
Northern Emerald Somatochlora arctica (Moorland Emerald)

Family Libellulidae (Chasers, Skimmers and Darters)[edit]

A female keeled skimmer (Orthetrum coerulescens). This species is common in wetlands, especially in Counties Galway, Kerry and Louth.
Broad-bodied Chaser Libellula depressa
Scarce Chaser Libellula fulva
Four-spotted Chaser Libellula quadrimaculata
Black-tailed Skimmer Orthetrum cancellatum
Keeled Skimmer Orthetrum coerulescens (Heathland Skimmer)
Black Darter Sympetrum danae
Yellow-winged Darter Sympetrum flaveolum
Red-veined Darter Sympetrum fonscolombii
Ruddy Darter Sympetrum sanguineum
Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum

Discounted records[edit]

The following species have been included in previous lists of Irish dragonflies, but are no longer regarded as having been reliably recorded:


  1. ^ Brian Nelson, Robert Thompson (2004). The Natural History of Ireland's Dragonflies. Ulster Museum. ISBN 978-0-900761-45-4. 

See also[edit]

External links[edit]