DragonflyPix

Beautiful Demoiselle (Calopteryx virgo)

• Scientific name: Calopteryx virgo (Linnaeus, 1758)
• English name: Beautiful Demoiselle
• German name: Blauflügel-Prachtlibelle
• French name: Caloptéryx vierge
• Dutch name: Bosbeekjuffer
• Swedish name: Blå jungfruslända
• Norwegian name: Blåvingevannymfe
• Finnish name: Neidonkorento
• Danish name: Blåvinget pragtvandnymfe
• Italian name: Splendente di fonte
• Czech name: motýlice obecná
• Slovenian name: Modri bleščavec
• Bulgarian name: Синьо ромолниче
• Typical length: 45-49 mm
• Hindwing: 24-36 mm

Beautiful Demoiselle (Calopteryx virgo)

Distribution map

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

The Beautiful Demoiselle is a large damselfly. Like all European Calopteryx species, its flight is fluttery and butterfly-like and - uniquely among European odonata - Calopteryx males engage in a dazzling display flight to attract females into their territories. The Beautiful Demoiselle occurs throughout all of Europe but - given its preference for fairly fast-flowing shady streams and brooks with an excellent water quality - it tends to be quite rare compared to the other species of the same genus. Here in Tuscany we've managed to find only two local streams where it occurs in good numbers - quite a rarity therefore compared to the Copper and Banded Demoiselles (Calopteryx haemorrhoidalis and C. splendens), which occur at pretty much any type of running water. Calopteryx virgo's most distinctive features include the white underside of the last three segments of the male's abdomen (although some males, especially of the subspecies festiva, tend to have quite a reddish underside), the male's wings which are virtually completely dark blue, the female's wings which are typically an opaque, smoky brown rather than a transparent green, and the wing shape of both sexes: compared to the narrow, pointed wings of the Banded, Western and Copper Demoiselles, the Beautiful Demoiselle's wings are wider, more rounded and spoon-shaped.

Line DrawingLineDrawing: the female's head and thorax in lateral view.

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4 / 20; PhotoID: Da338 02/07/2015 17:08 Greece F8 1/250 180mm ISO200 Canon7D2 -Crop -Flash MF
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7 / 20; PhotoID: Da341 07/07/2010 11:50 Greece F8 1/320 180mm ISO200 Canon7D -Crop -Flash MF
8 / 20; PhotoID: Da342 26/08/2013 14:24 Italy F8 1/125 180mm ISO400 Canon7D -Crop -Flash MF
9 / 20; PhotoID: Da343 06/06/2008 12:15 Italy F5.6 1/180 180mm ISO100 Canon40D -Crop -Flash MF
10 / 20; PhotoID: Da344 07/07/2010 12:34 Greece F8 1/100 180mm ISO200 Canon7D -Crop -Flash MF
11 / 20; PhotoID: Da345 13/08/2013 12:09 Italy F8 1/90 180mm ISO200 Canon7D -Crop -Flash MF
12 / 20; PhotoID: Da346 23/04/2007 14:45 Italy F5.6 1/60 180mm ISO200 Canon30D -Crop -Flash MF
13 / 20; PhotoID: Da347 26/08/2013 13:52 Italy F8 1/180 180mm ISO200 Canon7D -Crop -Flash MF
14 / 20; PhotoID: Da348 07/07/2010 18:24 Greece F8 1/80 180mm ISO200 Canon7D -Crop -Flash MF
15 / 20; PhotoID: Da349 16/08/2013 13:14 Italy F8 1/250 180mm ISO400 Canon7D -Crop -Flash MF
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17 / 20; PhotoID: Da351 07/07/2010 18:09 Greece F8 1/30 180mm ISO200 Canon7D -Crop -Flash MF
18 / 20; PhotoID: Da352 07/07/2010 18:11 Greece F8 1/125 180mm ISO200 Canon7D -Crop -Flash MF
19 / 20; PhotoID: Da353 13/08/2013 14:49 Italy F8 1/10 180mm ISO400 Canon7D -Crop -Flash MF
20 / 20; PhotoID: Da354 12/07/2007 14:06 Italy F8 1/200 180mm ISO200 Canon30D -Crop -Flash MF