Banded demoiselle

Banded Demoiselle

Male Banded Demoiselle ©Mark Hamblin/2020VISION

Banded Demoiselle

Female Banded Demoiselle ©Margaret Holland

Banded demoiselle

Scientific name: Calopteryx splendens
The Banded demoiselle can be seen flitting around slow-moving rivers, ponds and lakes. The males are metallic blue, with a distinctive dark band across their wings, and the females are a shiny green.

Species information


Length: 4.5cm

Conservation status


When to see

May to August


The Banded demoiselle is a large damselfly that lives along the edges of slow-flowing rivers and canals, still ponds and lakes, and among lush, damp vegetation. Its common name is derived from the distinctive 'fingerprint' mark on the males' wings. The only other damselfly with coloured wings is the similar-looking Beautiful demoiselle; however, this species lives on smaller, fast-flowing rivers, mainly in the west of the country. Banded Demoiselle males are very territorial, performing fluttering display flights to win over females. They are on the wing from May to August.

How to identify

Male Banded demoiselles are metallic blue, with broad, dark blue patches on each wing; females are metallic green with pale greenish wings. Of the UK's damselflies, only the Banded demoiselle and similar Beautiful demoiselle have coloured wings; the latter differs by displaying almost entirely dark, metallic wings. At rest, damselflies hold their wings along the length of their abdomen.


Found in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Did you know?

Female banded demoiselles lay their eggs by injecting them into plant stems under the surface of the water. The eggs take about two weeks to hatch and the larvae take two years to develop, overwintering in the mud at the bottom of the river or pond.

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.