A checklist of the dragonflies of Lesvos

Odalisque, Achladeri, Lesvos, April 2002
© Steve Dudley (Athene/Todsnatcher.com)

As a dragonfly enthusiast (see Watching British Dragonflies) I have often found dragonfly-watching on Lesvos a little frustrating. But over the years I have realised this is largely down to the times I visit - mid- to late April, before many species have taken to the wing, and mid- to late September, when due to lack of surface water, insects are less evident. My stays in to May have yielded more species and others I know staying into late May report even more species and greater numbers on the wing.

Die libellenfauna der Insel Lesbos (the dragonfly fauna of the island of Lesbos). Naturkundliche Reiseberichte 3. Lopau, W. Gnarrenburg 1995.
The Dragonflies of Lesbos. Bowers. J. Freinds of Lesbos. 2008.
Field Guide to the Dragonflies of Britain and Europe. Dijkstra, K-D B & Lewington, R. 2006. British Wildlife Publishing, Gillingham, Dorset.

English names are those used in Field Guide to the Dragonflies of Britain and Europe. The first English name is the new international English name as used in the above title. The second English name is the existing vernacular name.
Flight times are those given in the above guide for ‘Europe’, so flight periods on Lesvos will vary and most species will be affected by the water levels (and lack of water during some months). The flight periods for some species have been refined (thanks to Vincent Kalkman).


Banded Demoiselle Calopteryx splendens mingrelica
May - Sep.

Beautiful Demoiselle Calopteryx virgo festiva
May - Sep.

Odalisque Epallage fatime
Apr - Aug.

Robust Spreadwing Lestes dryas
Scarce Emerald Damselfly
Apr – Oct.

Migrant Spreadwing Lestes barbarus
Southern Emerald Damselfly
Mar – Oct.

Small Spreadwing Lestes virens
Small Emerald Damselfly
Apr - Nov.

Dark Spreadwing Lestes macrostigma
Mar – Oct.

Eastern Willow Spreadwing Lestes parvidens
May – Nov.

Common Winter Damselfly Sympecma fusca
Winter Damselfly
All year.

Common Bluetail Ischnura elegans
Blue-tailed Damselfly
Mar - Nov.

Small Bluetail Ischnura pumilio
Scarce Blue-tailed Damselfly
Mar - Oct.

Common Bluet Enallagma cyathigerum
Common Blue Damselfly
May - Oct.

Dainty Bluet Coenagrion scitulum
Dainty Damselfly
Apr - Sep.

Small Red Damsel Ceriagrion tenellum
Small Red Damselfly
June - Sep.

Small Redeye Erythromma viridulum
Small Red-eyed Damselfly
May - Sep.

Blue Redeye Erythromma lindenii
Goblet-marked Damselfly
Mar - Oct.

Blue Featherlegs Platycnemis pennipes
White-legged Damselfly
May - Sep.

Migrant Hawker Aeshna mixta
May - Dec.

Blue-eyed Hawker Aeshna affinis
Southern Migrant Hawker
May - Oct.

Green-eyed Hawker Aeshna isosceles antehumeralis
Norfolk Hawker
May - Aug.

Blue Emperor Anax imperator
Emperor Dragonfly
Mar - Dec.

Lesser Emperor Anax parthenope
Mar - Nov.

Vagrant Emperor Anax ephippiger
Mar - Nov.

Hairy Hawker Brachytron pratense
Hairy Dragonfly
Mar - Aug.

Eastern Spectre Caliaeschna microstigma
May - Oct.

Turkish Clubtail Gomphus schneiderii
Apr - Jul.

Small Pincertail Onychogomphus forcipatus albistibalis
Green-eyed Hooktail
May - Sep.

Turkish Goldenring Cordulegaster picta
May - Aug.

Blue-eyed Goldenring Cordulegaster insignis
May - Aug.

Yellow-spotted Emerald Somotochlora flavomaculata
May - Aug.

Broad-bodied Chaser Libellula depressa
Apr - Aug.

Blue Chaser Libellula fulva
Scarce Chaser
May - Aug.

Black-tailed Skimmer Orthetrum cancellatum
Apr - Sep.

Southern Skimmer Orthetrum brunneum
Apr - Sep.

Epaulet Skimmer Orthetrum chrysostigma
Apr - Aug.

Keeled Skimmer Orthetrum coerulescens anceps (O. ramburii)
Apr - Nov.

Small Skimmer Orthetrum taeniolatum
May - Sep.



Red-veined Darter Sympetrum fonscolombii
Mar - Nov.

Ruddy Darter Sympetrum sanguineum
May - Nov.

Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum
Apr - Nov.

Southern Darter Sympetrum meridionale
May - Nov.

Broad Scarlet Crocothemis erythraea
Scarlet Darter
Apr - Sep.

Violet Dropwing Trithemis annulata
Violet-marked Darter
Apr - Oct.

Black Pennant Selysiothemis nigra
May - Sep.

Recommended European dragonfly ID website

My thanks to Vincent Kalkman and Wolfgang Lopau.