The Irish Damselfly (Coenagrion lunulatum) is a damselfly found in northern Europe; outside northern Finland the species is rare. It is also scarce and local in Ireland. Its English name comes from the fact that it is found in Ireland but not in Britain.
This species is similar to the Azure Damselfly(Coenagrion puella), the Variable Damselfly (Coenagrion pulchellum) and the Common Blue Damselfly (Enallagma cyathigerum) with which it coexists. However, both the female and male are darker and shorter-bodied in comparison with other blue damselflies.The species can be identified using the following features:
- In males the back of the abdomen is mostly black, whilst segments 8 and 9 are all blue.
In males the underside is bright green especially on the head and thorax (see side view)
- The blue is of a darker shade than similar species
- Females are dull green with black markings
- In females the hind margin of the pronotum has a prominent raised point (see comparison of pronotums of blue damselflies)
Status in IrelandEdit
In Ireland, the species is uncommon, and confined to the midlands and north.Adults have been recorded from the end of May to late July. It is found on sheltered mesotrophic lakes and large pools, fens and cutover bogs.
It was first recorded in Ireland in Sligo in 1981; in total, it has been recorded from approximately 40 sites in 13 counties. The majority of sites have been in counties Fermanagh, Tyrone, Armagh and Monaghan. One of the places it has been successfully recorded and photographed is Brackagh Moss Bog, in Armagh.
Eutrophication is suggested as the most serious threat to the species.