DragonflyPix

Common Winter Damsel (Sympecma fusca)

• English name: Common Winter Damsel
• German name: Gemeine Winterlibelle
• French name: Leste brun
• Dutch name: Bruine winterjuffer
• Swedish name: Vinterflickslända
• Norwegian name: N/A
• Finnish name: Lännenkirsikorento
• Danish name: Vintervandnymfe
• Italian name: Invernina comune
• Czech name: šídlatka hnědá
• Slovenian name: Prisojni zimnik
• Bulgarian name: Зимно кротиче

Common Winter Damsel (Sympecma fusca)

Not present
Present before 1990
Present after 1990

Present before and after 1990
Present after 2015

Distribution map Sympecma fusca

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


General • a drab brown and beige species, common throughout Europe except the British Isles and Scandinavia
Classification • suborder: Zygoptera (damselflies); family: Lestidae
Conservation status • IUCN Red List Europe: Least Concern
Scientific name Sympecma fusca (Vander Linden, 1820)
Distribution • click or tap the Map button above
Notes • folds its wing together along one side of the abdomen when at rest
  • very similar to S. paedisca
  • the two Sympecma species are the only European species that overwinter as adults
  • tends to whip its abdomen up and down a few times when alighting
Habitat • any still water with a rich vegetation and floating dead reeds, grasses, etc.
Dimensions • typical body length: 34-39 mm; hindwing: 18-23 mm
Both sexesHead• in mature animals the top of the eye bears a bright blue spot
 Thorax• the upper part of the thorax is (coppery) brown; the lower part is beige
  • in young animals the upper part of the thorax is metallic green
  ➤ there is no bulge in the dark dorsal stripe (cf. S. paedisca)
 Abdomen• the upper part of the abdomen is coppery brown; the lower part is beige
  • in young animals the upper part of the abdomen is metallic green
 Wings• the (dark) brown pterostigma is positioned closer to the tip in the forewing than in the hindwing; when the wings are folded together, the pterostigmas in the forewings are aligned behind those in the hindwings
Photographs • nearly all of our photos below were made in Tuscany

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

Sympecma fusca, thumbnail 1 / 20
Common Winter Damsel (Sympecma fusca) ⚤

1 / 20; PhotoID: Da052 16/03/2019 11:59 Italy F8 1/400 180mm ISO200 Canon7D2 -Crop -Flash MF
Sympecma fusca, thumbnail 2 / 20
Common Winter Damsel (Sympecma fusca) ⚤

2 / 20; PhotoID: Da053 15/04/2010 12:00 Italy F8 1/125 180mm ISO100 Canon7D -Crop -Flash MF
Sympecma fusca, thumbnail 3 / 20
Common Winter Damsel (Sympecma fusca) ♀

3 / 20; PhotoID: Da054 17/10/2015 12:20 Italy F8 1/200 180mm ISO200 Canon7D2 -Crop -Flash MF
Sympecma fusca, thumbnail 4 / 20
Common Winter Damsel (Sympecma fusca) ♀

4 / 20; PhotoID: Da055 03/10/2016 11:11 Italy F10 1/250 180mm ISO200 Canon7D2 -Crop -Flash MF
Sympecma fusca, thumbnail 5 / 20
Common Winter Damsel (Sympecma fusca) ⚤

5 / 20; PhotoID: Da056 09/04/2010 12:36 Italy F8 1/180 180mm ISO100 Canon7D -Crop -Flash MF
Sympecma fusca, thumbnail 6 / 20
Common Winter Damsel (Sympecma fusca) ♂

6 / 20; PhotoID: Da057 30/03/2017 15:58 Italy F8 1/320 180mm ISO200 Canon7D2 -Crop -Flash MF
Sympecma fusca, thumbnail 7 / 20
Common Winter Damsel (Sympecma fusca) ♂

7 / 20; PhotoID: Da265 02/04/2015 10:43 Italy F8 1/125 180mm ISO200 Canon7D2 -Crop -Flash MF
Sympecma fusca, thumbnail 8 / 20
Common Winter Damsel (Sympecma fusca) ♀

8 / 20; PhotoID: Da259 31/03/2011 15:47 Italy F8 1/100 180mm ISO100 Canon7D -Crop -Flash MF
Sympecma fusca, thumbnail 9 / 20
Common Winter Damsel (Sympecma fusca) ♀

9 / 20; PhotoID: Da260 16/07/2011 11:48 Italy F8 1/125 180mm ISO200 Canon7D -Crop -Flash MF
Sympecma fusca, thumbnail 10 / 20
Common Winter Damsel (Sympecma fusca) ♀

10 / 20; PhotoID: Da261 22/09/2016 11:16 Italy F8 1/125 180mm ISO200 Canon7D2 -Crop -Flash MF
Sympecma fusca, thumbnail 11 / 20
Common Winter Damsel (Sympecma fusca) ♂

11 / 20; PhotoID: Da262 27/03/2009 12:13 Italy F8 1/125 180mm ISO100 Canon50D -Crop -Flash MF
Sympecma fusca, thumbnail 12 / 20
Common Winter Damsel (Sympecma fusca) ♂

12 / 20; PhotoID: Da266 31/05/2018 12:31 Spain F8 1/320 180mm ISO200 Canon7D2 -Crop -Flash MF
Sympecma fusca, thumbnail 13 / 20
Common Winter Damsel (Sympecma fusca) ♀

13 / 20; PhotoID: Da264 08/10/2018 10:56 Italy F10 1/250 180mm ISO400 Canon7D2 -Crop -Flash MF
Sympecma fusca, thumbnail 14 / 20
Common Winter Damsel (Sympecma fusca) ⚤

14 / 20; PhotoID: Da058 25/03/2009 13:19 Italy F8 1/200 180mm ISO100 Canon7D -Crop -Flash MF
Sympecma fusca, thumbnail 15 / 20
Common Winter Damsel (Sympecma fusca) ♂

15 / 20; PhotoID: Da263 14/03/2009 12:29 Italy F5.6 1/500 180mm ISO100 Canon50D -Crop -Flash MF
Sympecma fusca, thumbnail 16 / 20
Common Winter Damsel (Sympecma fusca) ♂

16 / 20; PhotoID: Da267 06/04/2013 11:03 Italy F8 1/250 180mm ISO100 Canon7D -Crop -Flash MF
Sympecma fusca, thumbnail 17 / 20
Common Winter Damsel (Sympecma fusca) ♀

17 / 20; PhotoID: Da268 15/04/2013 12:09 Italy F8 1/180 180mm ISO200 Canon7D -Crop -Flash MF
Sympecma fusca, thumbnail 18 / 20
Common Winter Damsel (Sympecma fusca) ⚤

18 / 20; PhotoID: Da269 29/03/2010 12:11 Italy F5.6 1/400 180mm ISO200 Canon7D -Crop -Flash MF
Sympecma fusca, thumbnail 19 / 20
Common Winter Damsel (Sympecma fusca) ⚤

19 / 20; PhotoID: Da270 25/03/2009 13:18 Italy F8 1/200 180mm ISO100 Canon7D -Crop -Flash MF
Sympecma fusca, thumbnail 20 / 20
Common Winter Damsel (Sympecma fusca) ♂

20 / 20; PhotoID: Da271 24/03/2009 12:17 Italy F8 1/160 180mm ISO100 Canon7D -Crop -Flash MF