The Banded Demoiselle (Calopteryx splendens) is a species of damselfly. It is often found along slow-flowing streams and rivers. It is an Eurasian species which is often noted for its beauty.
This is a large damselfly with a total length of up to 48 mm and a hindwing length of up to 36 mm.
The male has translucent wings which each have a broad, dark iridescent blue-black spot (or band) across the outer part. On immature dragonflies the spot is dark brown. The body can be a metallic blue or blue-ish green.
The female has translucent, pale green iridescent wings with a white patch near the tip, and a metallic green body.The nodus is the sharp dip mid-way down the upper edge of the wing. The wing patch of C. splendens starts at the nodus but can reach up to the wing-tip in southern races.
Eggs and larvaeEdit
Females can lay up to 10 eggs per minute for 45 minutes. They lay in a wide variety of emergent or floating plants, sometimes even submerging to do so.
The eggs hatch after 14 days. The larvae have very long legs and are stick-shaped. They develop over two years, usually. They tolerate muddy water and overwinter buried in mud. When they are ready to moult into an adult, they climb up a suitable reed or plant and shed their skin.
Males are usually territorial, but large numbers can sometimes be found in lush bankside plants and on floating objects. They court females by opening their wings and performing an aerial dance. They are usually found among mature, slow-flowing streams and rivers and sometimes canals.
Natural habitat areasEdit
They are found in the British Isles in canals and quiet rivers with muddy bottoms, usually in open country, but are absent from far north.