Friday, 22 May 2020

Beautiful or Banded?

Demoiselles are a group of fluttery dragonflies of which there are 2 British species.

The one you are most likely to see in Cholsey is the Banded Demoiselle which is found in habitats of slow moving rivers and streams with muddy bottoms.

The Beautiful Demoiselle is quite rare in Cholsey and its preferred habitat is rivers and streams with gravelly bottoms.

This year both Alan and I have found female Demoiselles that resemble Beautiful.

Some females appear to be difficult to identify to species and I have little experience of Beautiful Demoiselles. 

Fortunately we have some photos. See below.

Beautiful Demoiselle (f) ↕ top photo by Richard Lewington of one near Appleford and the bottom photo by Alan Dawson in Cholsey.

Banded or Beautiful Demoiselle ? Cholsey


  1. I too believe these to be Beautifuls - see Jeremy Dexter's excellent comparison photo on the Oxon Dragonfly Blog

  2. Yes all three pictures look right for beautiful. The bottom one is an immature male. On the females the white wing spot is further from the wing tip than in banded. As beautiful mature the wing colour changes from a soft orange to brown, in banded there is always a green tint but be wary as the apparent colour can be influenced by the background vegetation showing through the wings. To my eye beautiful have more paddle shaped wings. Hope that helps.

  3. On close inspection image 2 female is quite marginal. The antenodal cross veins (rungs on ladder on leading edge of wing) are thin and green whereas I would expect beau to be thicker and brown. The wing colour is marginal, the wing shape marginal but the white spot well placed for beau.