Length: typically 22-26 mm
This is an easy damselfly to identify, since there is no other male damselfly in our area with a black-tipped, bright red abdomen. Other notable characteristics of the Eastern Red Damsel include the very dark dorsal surface of the thorax.
The Eastern Red Damsel has an unusually short, stocky body, and in fact the addomen is not much longer than the wings. The species is among the smaller damselflies, not much larger than Forktails if at all.
The female Eastern Red Damsel is reddish brown over most of the body. The ventral surface of the thorax is usually brown rather than black, and there are dark spots on the dorsal surface of the rear of the abdomen (most notably on segments 7 to 9).
Red Damsels can be found at a variety of habitats, including bogs, swamps, pond margins, and even along small rivers. Yet while they seem to like a variety of habitats, they are not among West Virginia's most common damselflies.
|Above: The dark color of the dorsal surface of the male's thorax continues forward between the eyes. This photograph shows nicely the three ocelli (simple eyes) possessed by all dragonflies and damselflies.|
|Above: The top of the thorax of male Eastern Red Damsels is very dark, giving way to lighter coloration on the sides of the thorax.|