European regional assessment: Least Concern (LC) EU 27 regional assessment: Least Concern (LC) Calopteryx virgo is a common and widespread species in. Confined to southern half of Ireland. Adults fly during June and July. This and the Banded Demoiselle are the largest Irish damselfly species. The Beautiful. Calopteryx virgo virgo Trusted • Calopteryx virgo Trusted more taxon associations Calopteryx virgo britannica is a subspecies of the Beautiful Demoiselle.

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The beautiful demoiselle Calopteryx virgo is a European damselfly belonging to the family Calopterygidae.

Beautiful Demoiselle |

It is often found along fast-flowing waters where it is most at home. Females lay up to eggs at a time on emergent or floating plants, often on water-crowfoot. Like the banded demoisellethey often submerge to do so. The eggs hatch after around 14 days. Again, like the banded demoiselle, the larva is stick-like with long legs and develops over a period of two years in submerged vegetation, plant debris or roots.

They usually overwinter in mud or slime. The larvae of the beautiful demoiselle develop over 10 to 12 stageseach of which takes place between a molt.

File:Beautiful Demoiselle Calopteryx virgo male female.jpg

The body length is variable and highly dependent on environmental conditions. The final stage Fstage larvae are 3. Apart from the larvae of the demoiselles are difficult to distinguish from each other, the apparent differences lie mainly in the bristles and the severity of the tracheal gills on their abdomen.

Compared to other damselflies demoiselles larvae fall immediately on the other hand, due to their much shorter mean gill lamella. The body of the larvae shows only a relatively small adjustment to the fast-flowing waters of their habitat. The body is not flattened but very slim and turning around, the legs are long and have its end with strong claws, with which it can be stated in the vegetation.

Because they reside within the water body, but mainly in the quieter areas, the danger of being swept with the flow, is relatively low. If this happens, they clearly its long body and legs stretched as far as possible to get in touch with the vegetation or the substrate to come. Calopteryx virgo can reach a body length of 49—54 millimetres 1. The basal area of the wings is transparent, otherwise wings are uniformly colored.

The wings are also traversed by a dense network of veins. This species presents an evident sexual dimorphism in colour pattern. The male usually has much more extensive pigmentation on the wings than other Calopteryx species in its range: Immature males show brown wings, as the metallic blue wing color develops only with age. The female has dark brown iridescent wings, a white patch near the tip of the wings called a pseudopterostigma and a metallic green body with a bronze tip of the abdomen.

This species is rather similar to The Banded Demoiselle Calopteryx splendensother British damselfly with coloured wings. The distribution of the beautiful demoiselle covers all of Europe with the exception of the southwestern Iberian Peninsula, the Balearic Islands and Iceland. On the North African Mediterranean coast, its southern populations in Morocco and Algeria can be found. The eastern subspecies of C.

The beautiful demoiselle is mostly found in lowland locations. Regular findings come from areas up to a maximum height of m above sea level.

Occasionally they may be found up to 1, meters in altitude, such as in the Alps. The blue-winged demoiselle lives mainly near small to medium-sized streams and creeks.

The water must not be nutrient rich eutrophic. In the northern part of their range, such as in Norway and Finland, it is also found near medium-sized rivers or even larger streams. The waters birgo usually in the immediate vicinity of forests. The larvae live in the streams mentioned before and are mainly dependent on the water plants. The larvae need the stems and leaves, especially in areas with stronger currents to hold on.


Hence it is extremely rare to find them in barren locations, flat expiring banks, or areas with a smooth stone floor. They also live in small natural lakes or ponds characteristic for limestones bedrock. They live in quieter areas between alluvial leaves or on exposed roots of the vegetation.

They can be found on submerged plants such as waterweed Cakopteryx sp. Compared with czlopteryx larvae of the banded demoiselle the larvae of the blue-wing demoiselle prefer quieter areas of the water, since slower flow causes a more effective absorption of oxygen under water.

Only in very rare cases the larvae are present in stagnant water. The substrate of the river has only a very minor importance, because the larvae reside mainly in the vegetation. An important factor for the occurrence of blue-wing demoiselles is the oxygen in the water. The larvae is much more sensitive to oxygen deficiency than the larvae of the banded demoiselle, hence virg needs a sufficient oxygen saturation of the water.

Waters with high levels of sediment and sludge, which is consumed by bacterial decomposition of oxygen are, accordingly not as a habitat for the larvae. This sensitivity qualifies it in water chemistry as a bioindicator for the assessment of water quality. Thus they will be an indication of value in the saprobic assigned of 1.

Another key factor for the occurrence of the larvae of the blue-wing demoiselle is the temperature of the water. This species prefers unlike the banded demoiselle, mainly the cooler and shadier areas of the water.

The main reason is the oxygen content under higher temperatures. Individual populations may get used to permanently higher temperatures. The habitat that the adults occupy, corresponds to the nearby larval habitat. Unlike the adults of the calppteryx demoiselle you meet those of the beautiful demoiselle but also in forest clearings, but very rarely on the banks of larger ponds.

As resting places, the animals need trees and shrubs, often resting on high herbaceous plants such as the large nettle Urtica dioica. The breeding habitats are similar to the Larval habitat, these are cool, shady water-courses largely with a more or less strong current and near-natural vegetation and bank structure. This is mostly meadow and pasture streams in the area, they rarely pass through the forest.

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species

A distinct riparian vegetation also plays a role as a windbreak. Due vigro their broad wings the beautiful demoiselle can be blown away by the wind more easily than other species of dragonflies.

Males are territorial, perching in bankside plants and trees, waiting for females [7] or chasing.

They chase passing insects, callopteryx returning to the same perch. Males can stray well away from water, females live away from water unless egg-laying or seeking a mate. As with the banded demoiselle is also in the blue wing-demoiselle a pronounced territorial behavior of sexually mature males.

These days occupy territories that they defend against other males. The defense consists mostly in threatening gestures.

Optimal areas correspond to the optimal nesting places for the females and are characterized by a normally increased flow and a suitable oviposition substrate in the potential breeding sites from. The size of the spots and their distance apart is the density of the population dependent as well as the occurrences of the water and may be between several meters and a few decimetres.

Males who do not occupy spots can keep themselves in the vegetation on the shore and try to mate with fly to females or to fill vacant spots. Especially when only a few males are present, the territorial defense is very aggressive, with a higher number of competing male aggression but decreases significantly.

The males sit in their areas mostly in exposed places in the vegetation, which extends over the water, sometimes on vegetation calopheryx rocks cushions amid the waters.

This seat is waiting at the same time the center of the district they do their gaze primarily on the aquatic center and will show a behavior that is referred to as “wings lapping” and in which the wings beat quickly down and slowly lifted. It is believed that it caloptdryx mainly used for communication, it also supports the ventilation in the thorax and accordingly probably also plays a role in thermoregulation of the animals.


Mating takes place virgl a way that for the genus Calopteryx and is typical of an eye-catching advertising behavior precedes. The females fly over the water, always in search of suitable nesting places and fly it through the territories of males. The males who recognize the females to the reflections of the moving wings, fly towards it, once they have crossed the border area. They use a striking Schwirrflug that only in the courtship will be shown, ccalopteryx demonstrate the underside of its abdomen raised virfo.

The last three segments of it are much brighter and are referred to as a “lantern” that will be presented. The male leads in this way, the calopteryxx to the nesting sites calopterhx flight” and circled it on the water once it has settled out.

Beautiful demoiselle

Then in turn followed by a period of hovering flight and only if the female is sitting there and so his willingness to mate signaled it comes to mating. In return, the male is on caloptryx wings of the female and begins copulation, which can last between 40 seconds and 5 minutes, the animals themselves in the “mating wheel” can rely on the vegetation. After mating, the male releases the female again and again shows this is the nesting place, the female abdomen with drooping sit for a few seconds “post-copulatory rest” and then follows the male.

The eggs are laid in the stems of aquatic plants in the water level and below, where the female can submerge up to 90 minutes.

It climbs here unlike almost all other species of dragonflies upside down on the stem down and stabs the eggs with the egg-laying apparatus ovipositor almost vertically into the stems.

During the nesting above the water surface while the female is the male defended against other males. Both calopreryx mate several times a day for vitgo weeks until her death. The eggs, in which the embryos develop, are on average about 1. At the pointed end are, as with other demoiselles also a hole structure Mikropylenapparat with four holes to enable penetration of the sperm of the male.

In addition, the egg of the banded demoiselle at the front end a funnel-like appendix unknown object, which projects at the inserted egg outwardly from the plant stem.

The color of the egg changes from a bright yellow when freshly laid eggs on a yellow-brown to reddish brown when older egg. Within the egg takes place, the embryonic development of the dragonfly. For the first time this has been described for the blue-winged demoisellebut it represented the first description of the embryonic development of an insect at all.

From outside the progression of the development by a slight change in length as well as by changing the shape is recognizable. It bulges on the upper part of the egg slightly, while the lower part deforms concave. The development itself can be divided calopteryc three sections: The larval development of the Blue-winged demoiselle takes into Middle Eastern waters, usually between six and calopetryx weeks, mainly due to the preference of cooler waters, it is usually somewhat longer than that of the banded demoiselle.

At the end of larval development, it comes to winter and the development until the following year with calopheryx metamorphosis to the imago completed univoltine development.

Caloptefyx cooler water is a breeding, the greater firgo proportion of larvae that pass through the two winter periods and therefore a development of nearly two calopterys semivoltine development.

Studies have shown that this might modify the relationship between univoltine and semivoltinen larvae within a body of water calopterys clear in the course of the river and increase the water temperature moves toward univoltiner larvae.

Like all these predatory dragonfly larvae live.