DragonflyPix

Calopteryx virgo

• 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

Calopteryx virgo

Distribution map Calopteryx virgo

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


General • a large species which occurs throughout much of Europe; similar to C. splendens but with broader, completely opaque wings
Classification • suborder: Zygoptera (damselflies); family: Calopterygidae
Scientific name Calopteryx virgo (Linnaeus, 1758)
Distribution • click or tap the Map button above
Notes • its flight is fluttery and butterfly-like
  • males engage in a dazzling display flight to attract females into their territories
  • to demonstrate the suitability of an ovipositing site males sit down on the water and allow the current to carry them by that site while 'flashing' the coloured underside of their abdomen tips at the females
  • both males and females hold territories at the water
Habitat • fairly fast-flowing shady streams and brooks
Dimensions • typical body length: 45-49 mm; hindwing: 24-36 mm
Both sexesWings• the wings are wide, rounded and spoon-shaped
MaleThorax• the thorax is metallic dark green-blue
 Abdomen• the abdomen is metallic dark green-blue
  • the underside of the last three segments is yellowish white or, in the subspecies C. v. festiva, reddish pink
 Wings• the wings lack a (pseudo-)pterostigma
  ➤ the rounded wings are almost completely dark blue
FemaleThorax• the thorax is metallic dark (brownish) green
 Abdomen• the top of the abdomen is metallic dark (brownish) green
 Wings➤ the rounded wings are opaque and smoky brown rather than translucent green; they bear a white pseudopterostigma positioned rather distant to the wing tip
Photographs • most of the photos we made in Italy show the subspecies C. v. meridionalis
  • the photos we made in Greece show the subspecies C. v. festiva

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

Calopteryx virgo; wing, male
Note: The male's rounded wings are almost completely blue.

Calopteryx virgo; wing, female
Note: The pseudopterostigma in the rounded brown wing is positioned relatively far from the tip.

Beautiful Demoiselle (Calopteryx virgo)
Female head and thorax in lateral 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.

Calopteryx virgo, thumbnail 1 / 20
1 / 20; PhotoID: Da335 06/09/2010 12:46 Italy F8 1/250 180mm ISO200 Canon7D -Crop -Flash MF
Calopteryx virgo, thumbnail 2 / 20
2 / 20; PhotoID: Da336 02/07/2010 13:45 Greece F8 1/50 180mm ISO200 Canon7D -Crop -Flash MF
Calopteryx virgo, thumbnail 3 / 20
3 / 20; PhotoID: Da337 16/08/2013 12:53 Italy F8 1/250 180mm ISO400 Canon7D -Crop -Flash MF
Calopteryx virgo, thumbnail 4 / 20
4 / 20; PhotoID: Da338 02/07/2015 17:08 Greece F8 1/250 180mm ISO200 Canon7D2 -Crop -Flash MF
Calopteryx virgo, thumbnail 5 / 20
5 / 20; PhotoID: Da339 02/07/2010 13:36 Greece F8 1/20 180mm ISO200 Canon7D -Crop -Flash MF
Calopteryx virgo, thumbnail 6 / 20
6 / 20; PhotoID: Da340 16/08/2013 13:13 Italy F8 1/180 180mm ISO400 Canon7D -Crop -Flash MF
Calopteryx virgo, thumbnail 7 / 20
7 / 20; PhotoID: Da341 07/07/2010 11:50 Greece F8 1/320 180mm ISO200 Canon7D -Crop -Flash MF
Calopteryx virgo, thumbnail 8 / 20
8 / 20; PhotoID: Da342 26/08/2013 14:24 Italy F8 1/125 180mm ISO400 Canon7D -Crop -Flash MF
Calopteryx virgo, thumbnail 9 / 20
9 / 20; PhotoID: Da343 06/06/2008 12:15 Italy F5.6 1/180 180mm ISO100 Canon40D -Crop -Flash MF
Calopteryx virgo, thumbnail 10 / 20
10 / 20; PhotoID: Da344 07/07/2010 12:34 Greece F8 1/100 180mm ISO200 Canon7D -Crop -Flash MF
Calopteryx virgo, thumbnail 11 / 20
11 / 20; PhotoID: Da345 13/08/2013 12:09 Italy F8 1/90 180mm ISO200 Canon7D -Crop -Flash MF
Calopteryx virgo, thumbnail 12 / 20
12 / 20; PhotoID: Da346 23/04/2007 14:45 Italy F5.6 1/60 180mm ISO200 Canon30D -Crop -Flash MF
Calopteryx virgo, thumbnail 13 / 20
13 / 20; PhotoID: Da347 26/08/2013 13:52 Italy F8 1/180 180mm ISO200 Canon7D -Crop -Flash MF
Calopteryx virgo, thumbnail 14 / 20
14 / 20; PhotoID: Da348 07/07/2010 18:24 Greece F8 1/80 180mm ISO200 Canon7D -Crop -Flash MF
Calopteryx virgo, thumbnail 15 / 20
15 / 20; PhotoID: Da349 16/08/2013 13:14 Italy F8 1/250 180mm ISO400 Canon7D -Crop -Flash MF
Calopteryx virgo, thumbnail 16 / 20
16 / 20; PhotoID: Da350 13/08/2013 14:40 Italy F8 1/15 180mm ISO400 Canon7D -Crop -Flash MF
Calopteryx virgo, thumbnail 17 / 20
17 / 20; PhotoID: Da351 07/07/2010 18:09 Greece F8 1/30 180mm ISO200 Canon7D -Crop -Flash MF
Calopteryx virgo, thumbnail 18 / 20
18 / 20; PhotoID: Da352 07/07/2010 18:11 Greece F8 1/125 180mm ISO200 Canon7D -Crop -Flash MF
Calopteryx virgo, thumbnail 19 / 20
19 / 20; PhotoID: Da353 13/08/2013 14:49 Italy F8 1/10 180mm ISO400 Canon7D -Crop -Flash MF
Calopteryx virgo, thumbnail 20 / 20
20 / 20; PhotoID: Da354 12/07/2007 14:06 Italy F8 1/200 180mm ISO200 Canon30D -Crop -Flash MF