DragonflyPix

Downy Emerald (Cordulia aenea)

• English name: Downy Emerald
• German name: Falkenlibelle
• French name: Cordulie bronzée
• Dutch name: Smaragdlibel
• Swedish name: Guldtrollslända
• Norwegian name: Smaragdøyenstikker
• Finnish name: Vaskikorento
• Danish name: Grøn smaragdlibel
• Italian name: Smeralda bronzea
• Czech name: lesklice měděná
• Slovenian name: Močvirski lebduh
• Bulgarian name: Мъхеста зеленка

Downy Emerald (Cordulia aenea)

Not present
Present before 1990
Present after 1990

Present before and after 1990
Present after 2015

Distribution map Cordulia aenea

Map data based on J.-P. Boudot & V. J. Kalkman (eds.),
Atlas of the European Dragonflies and Damselflies


General • a fairly large, dark, stocky-looking species which is fairly common in central and eastern Europe; rare in the British Isles, the far north and the south
Classification • suborder: Anisoptera (dragonflies); family: Corduliidae
Conservation status • IUCN Red List Europe: Least Concern
Scientific name Cordulia aenea (Linnaeus, 1758)
Distribution • click or tap the Map button above
Notes • flies early in the year
  • territorial males inspect the water's edge looking for ovipositing females, alternating swift flight with brief hovering
  • cordulids are 'fliers': they spend a lot of time on the wing and seldom hang up for a rest
Habitat • ponds and lakes
Dimensions • typical body length: 47-55 mm; hindwing: 29-35 mm
Both sexesHead• the eyes are green (brown in immature animals)
 Thorax• the thorax is metallic dark green with bronze-brown reflections and covered in long hairs
 Abdomen• the abdomen is metallic dark green with, especially in the male, bronze-brown reflections
 Wings➤ the wings have orange patches at the base
MaleAbdomen➤ the abdomen is clearly club-shaped, being at its widest at S7-S8
FemaleAbdomen• the abdomen is only slightly club-shaped
  ➤ the underside of S3 bears a large white patch
  ➤ the abdomen does not have a long vulvar scale
 Wings• immature females may have extensively orange-tinted wings
Photographs • most of our photos below were made in the Netherlands, Sweden and Greece

Line DrawingLineDrawing: the male's appendages, the male's abdomen and the female's abdomen in dorsal view.

Cordulia aenea (left), Somatochlora metallica (centre) and S. meridionalis (right); vulvar scale
Note: In C. aenea the vulvar scale is small and does not protrude.

Downy Emerald (Cordulia aenea)
Male appendages in dorsal view
Drawing by Ruth Ilka Nüß
© 2013 Lehmann & Nüß and DragonflyPix.com

Downy Emerald (Cordulia aenea)
Male abdomen in dorsal view
Drawing by Ruth Ilka Nüß
© 2013 Lehmann & Nüß and DragonflyPix.com

Downy Emerald (Cordulia aenea)
Female abdomen in dorsal view
Drawing by Ruth Ilka Nüß
© 2013 Lehmann & Nüß and DragonflyPix.com

Click on a thumbnail to display the photograph (at 1200 x 800 pixels) in a new window.

Cordulia aenea, thumbnail 1 / 20
Downy Emerald (Cordulia aenea) ♀

1 / 20; PhotoID: Dr844 13/05/2011 13:33 Greece F8 1/200 180mm ISO400 Canon7D -Crop -Flash MF
Cordulia aenea, thumbnail 2 / 20
Downy Emerald (Cordulia aenea) ♂

2 / 20; PhotoID: Dr845 20/07/2017 12:36 Finland F8 1/320 180mm ISO200 Canon7D2 -Crop -Flash MF
Cordulia aenea, thumbnail 3 / 20
Downy Emerald (Cordulia aenea) ⚤

3 / 20; PhotoID: Dr846 05/05/2018 12:54 Netherlands F8 1/800 180mm ISO200 Canon7D2 -Crop -Flash MF
Cordulia aenea, thumbnail 4 / 20
Downy Emerald (Cordulia aenea) ♂

4 / 20; PhotoID: Dr862 25/04/2011 10:01 Netherlands F5.6 1/800 180mm ISO400 Canon7D -Crop -Flash MF
Cordulia aenea, thumbnail 5 / 20
Downy Emerald (Cordulia aenea) ♀

5 / 20; PhotoID: Dr863 15/05/2013 12:33 Netherlands F8 1/90 180mm ISO400 Canon7D -Crop -Flash MF
Cordulia aenea, thumbnail 6 / 20
Downy Emerald (Cordulia aenea) ♂

6 / 20; PhotoID: Dr864 19/06/2016 10:28 Sweden F8 1/500 180mm ISO400 Canon7D2 -Crop -Flash MF
Cordulia aenea, thumbnail 7 / 20
Downy Emerald (Cordulia aenea) ♀

7 / 20; PhotoID: Dr895 22/04/2011 11:25 Netherlands F8 1/40 180mm ISO200 Canon7D -Crop -Flash MF
Cordulia aenea, thumbnail 8 / 20
Downy Emerald (Cordulia aenea) ⚤

8 / 20; PhotoID: Dr924 22/06/2016 11:44 Sweden F10 1/400 180mm ISO400 Canon7D2 -Crop -Flash MF
Cordulia aenea, thumbnail 9 / 20
Downy Emerald (Cordulia aenea) ♀

9 / 20; PhotoID: Dr925 13/05/2011 13:44 Greece F6.3 1/250 180mm ISO400 Canon7D -Crop -Flash MF
Cordulia aenea, thumbnail 10 / 20
Downy Emerald (Cordulia aenea) ♀

10 / 20; PhotoID: Dr926 05/05/2018 12:37 Netherlands F8 1/320 180mm ISO200 Canon7D2 -Crop -Flash MF
Cordulia aenea, thumbnail 11 / 20
Downy Emerald (Cordulia aenea) ♀

11 / 20; PhotoID: Dr927 05/05/2018 14:33 Netherlands F8 1/500 180mm ISO200 Canon7D2 -Crop -Flash MF
Cordulia aenea, thumbnail 12 / 20
Downy Emerald (Cordulia aenea) ⚤

12 / 20; PhotoID: Dr928 23/06/2016 10:29 Sweden F8 1/400 180mm ISO400 Canon7D2 -Crop -Flash MF
Cordulia aenea, thumbnail 13 / 20
Downy Emerald (Cordulia aenea) ♂

13 / 20; PhotoID: Dr934 21/06/2016 17:01 Sweden F8 1/125 180mm ISO200 Canon7D2 -Crop -Flash MF
Cordulia aenea, thumbnail 14 / 20
Downy Emerald (Cordulia aenea) ⚤

14 / 20; PhotoID: Dr1043 23/06/2016 12:16 Sweden F8 1/320 180mm ISO400 Canon7D2 -Crop -Flash MF
Cordulia aenea, thumbnail 15 / 20
Downy Emerald (Cordulia aenea) ♀

15 / 20; PhotoID: Dr1044 02/05/2018 10:38 Netherlands F8 1/640 180mm ISO200 Canon7D2 -Crop -Flash MF
Cordulia aenea, thumbnail 16 / 20
Downy Emerald (Cordulia aenea) ♂

16 / 20; PhotoID: Dr1047 13/05/2009 11:32 Germany F5.6 1/60 180mm ISO200 Canon50D -Crop -Flash MF
Cordulia aenea, thumbnail 17 / 20
Downy Emerald (Cordulia aenea) ♂

17 / 20; PhotoID: Dr1048 14/05/2013 14:28 Netherlands F8 1/350 180mm ISO400 Canon7D -Crop -Flash MF
Cordulia aenea, thumbnail 18 / 20
Downy Emerald (Cordulia aenea) ♀

18 / 20; PhotoID: Dr1049 05/05/2018 17:39 Netherlands F8 1/400 180mm ISO200 Canon7D2 -Crop -Flash MF
Cordulia aenea, thumbnail 19 / 20
Downy Emerald (Cordulia aenea) ♀

19 / 20; PhotoID: Dr1325 08/05/2010 14:08 Netherlands F8 1/45 180mm ISO200 Canon7D -Crop -Flash MF
Cordulia aenea, thumbnail 20 / 20
Downy Emerald (Cordulia aenea) ♂

20 / 20; PhotoID: Dr1490 13/05/2011 15:07 Greece F8 1/160 180mm ISO200 Canon7D -Crop -Flash MF