Beautiful demoiselle

Male Beautiful Demoiselle

Male Beautiful Demoiselle ©Guy Edwardes/2020VISION

Beautiful Demoiselle female

Female Beautiful Demoiselle ©Chris Lawrence

Beautiful demoiselle

Scientific name: Calopteryx virgo
Beautiful demoiselle’s are, well, beautiful! Often confused for a dragonfly, these giants of the damselfly world are hard to miss with their metallic blue and green colours.

Species information


Length: 4.5cm

When to see

May to August


The beautiful demoiselle may look like a dragonfly, but it is in fact a large damselfly. The males are metallic blue and the females green. They live on small, fast flowing rivers in the west of the UK. They can be seen flitting and fluttering over head as the male tries to attract a female with its impressive dance moves!

How to identify

Male Beautiful demoiselles have dark-coloured wings and metallic blue-green bodies; females have brown wings and green bodies. The Beautiful demoiselle is similar to the Banded Demoiselle, but the males of the latter species have distinctive dark patches in the middle of their wings.


Found west of a line drawn from Liverpool to Folkestone, where it is locally abundant.

Did you know?

Male Beautiful demoiselles rest on bankside vegetation awaiting passing females. They use their fluttering flight as a courtship display.

How people can help

The Wildlife Trusts manage many wetland nature reserves for the benefit of the wildlife they support. You can help by supporting your local Trust and becoming a member; you'll find out about exciting wildlife news, events on your doorstep and volunteering opportunities, and will be helping local wildlife along the way. Encourage dragonflies and damselflies into your garden by having a wildlife-friendly pond. To find out more about gardening for wildlife, visit our Wild About Gardens website: a joint initiative with the RHS, there's plenty of facts and tips to get you started.