Netherlands - Dragonflies & Damselflies

On this page you will find pictures of dragonflies and damselflies photographed by me in the Netherlands.

You can scroll down to see all photo's or you can click on the underlined English name in the list (link) to see the respective photo.

  1. Vagrant Darter - Steenrode Heidelibel
  2. Common Darter - Bruinrode Heidelibel
  3. Ruddy Darter - Bloedrode Heidelibel
  4. Black-tailed Skimmer - Gewone Oeverlibel
  5. Scarce Chaser - Bruine Korenbout
  6. Four-spotted Chaser - Viervlek
  7. Southern Hawker - Blauwe Glazenmaker
  8. Migrant Hawker - Paardenbijter
  9. Downy Emerald - Smaragdlibel
  10. Blue-tailed Damselfly - Lantaarntje
  1. Common Coenagrion - Azuurwaterjuffer
  2. Variable Damselfly - Variabele Waterjuffer
  3. Red-eyed Damselfly - Grote Roodoogjuffer
  4. Common Blue Damselfly - Watersnuffel
  5. Common Winter Damselfly - Bruine Winterjuffer
  6. Common Emerald Damselfly - Gewone Pantserjuffer
  7. Willow Emerald Damselfly - Houtpantserjuffer
  8. Small Spreadwing - Tengere Pantserjuffer
  9. Large Red Damselfly - Vuurjuffer

Vagrant Darter
Steenrode Heidelibel
(Sympetrum vulgatum)
's Graveland
11 August 2012

The Vagrant Darter is very similar to the Common Darter (next photo). The main differences are: The Vagrant Darter has legs which are partly black en partly yellowish, the black line on the forehead runs downwars along the eyes' edges (like a moustache), the body, especially that of the male, is slightly shaped like a bludgeon and the ovipositor of the female sticks out in a 90 degree angle.

Common Darter
Bruinrode Heidelibel
(Sympetrum striolatum)

Stulpheide, Lage Vuursche
4 August 2014

The Common Darter is very similar to the Vagrant Darter (previous photo).
The main differences are: the Common Darter's legs are (almost) black, the black line runs over the forehead only and doesn't droop down (no moustache), the body is straight and the female's ovipositor sticks out in a 40 degrees angle.

Ruddy Darter
Bloedrode Heidelibel
(Sympetrum sanguineum)

25 September 2015

Quite similar to the previous Sympetrum sp., but S. sanguinem is usually brighter red (in adult males) and has entirely black legs.
S. sanguinem has also a "moustache".

Black-tailed Skimmer
Gewone Oeverlibel
(Orthetrum cancellatum)
Bovenmeent, Hilversum
23 July 2010
Scarce Chaser
Bruine Korenbout
(Libellula fulva)

In my yard, Hilversum
30 May 2012
Four-spotted Chaser
Viervlek (Libellula quadrimaculata)
De Snip, Hilversum
18 June 2013

The brown colour and the four spots on the wings make them unmistakable. The male is considered to be highly aggressive and will defend a given territory from incursions from other males of the species. The male is known to form preferences for prominent perches and will often return to the same perches around the margins of pools and ponds whilst it patrols for intruders.

Southern Hawker
Blauwe Glazenmaker
(Aeshna cyanea)
In my house, Hilversum
7 September 2013

This is a large dragonfly, with a long body (7 cm). It is distinguished from other Hawkers by the two 'head-light' markings on the thorax and also by the paired spots on the last two abdominal segments merging.
It can be curious of people and will fly up close to inspect the 'intruder' before carrying on its patrol.

Migrant Hawker
(Aeshna mixta)

's Graveland
28 August 2012

A. mixta occurs in North Africa, southern and central Europe to the Baltic region. It is in the family Aeshnidae and is very similar in appearance to Aeshna affinis.
A. affinis lacks the T-shaped mark which is found on the top of the second abdomen segment in A. mixta (clearly visible on the photo).
Downy Emerald
Smaragdlibel (Cordulia aenea)
Naardermeer, Naarden
26 April 2014

The Downy Emerald (47-55 mm) is the only species of its genus in Europe.
Like most other emeralds, the Downy Emerald has bright shiny green eyes.

Blue-tailed Damselfly
(Ischnura elegans)
Zanderij Crailo, Hilversum
24 June 2013

Bij de gelijkende tengere grasjuffer is segment 9 (één na laatste staartdeel) blauw terwijl bij het lantaarntje segment 8 (op twee na laatste staartdeel) blauw is.

Common Coenagrion
(Coenagrion puella)
7 July 2011

In tegenstelling tot de (hieronder afgebeelde) Watersnuffel heeft de Azuurwaterjuffer meer zwart op de rug van het borststuk en 2 kleine zwarte streepjes op de zijkant van het borststuk. De Watersnuffel heeft slechts 1 klein zwart streepje.

Variable Damselfly
Variabele Waterjuffer
(Coenagrion pulchellum)

Naardermeer, Naarden
26 April 2014

The male Variable Damselfly has a distinctive "wine glass" marking on the second segment of the abdomen. This is a black U-shaped mark with a black line joining the segment's narrow terminal black band. This distinguishes it from the Common Coenagrion (previous photo) which has the U-shape but no line connecting it to the terminal band.

Red-eyed Damselfly
Grote Roodoogjuffer
(Erythromma najas)

Naardermeer, Naarden
5 June 2014

The species is 35 mm long, predominantly black with blue markings. Males resemble blue-tailed damselflies (Ischnura species) but is distinguished by its large, spaced eyes that are a deep red. It is very similar to the Small Red-eyed Damselfly. Immature males and females are generally yellow and black. The main determining factor is the presence of expanses of floating vegetation on its favoured sites of still or slow moving water.

Common Blue Damselfly
(Enallagma cyathigerum)

25 May 2012

De watersnuffel heeft op de zijkant van het borststuk één klein zwart streepje in het blauw terwijl alle andere blauwe waterjuffers er twee hebben.

Common Winter Damselfly
Bruine Winterjuffer
(Sympecma fusca)
Zanderij Crailo, Hilversum
24 June 2013

This is one of only two European species which overwinter as adults. It's a medium-sized, drab brown-and-creamy-white damselfly, and it's common and widely distributed throughout Europe except the British Isles and Scandinavia. When at rest, Sympecma fusca folds its four wings together along one side of its abdomen, in which case the long and narrow pterostigmas in the front wings are aligned in front of those in the rear wings.
Common Emerald Damselfly
Gewone Pantserjuffer
(Lestes sponsa)
4 August 2011

Willow Emerald Damselfly
(Lestes viridis)
Zanderij Crailo, Hilversum
29 August 2013

Niet te verwarren met andere pantserjuffers door een gelig tot lichtbruin pterostigma (vleugelvlekje) en op de zijkant van het borststuk een donker 'schiereilandje' of 'doorntje'.

Small Spreadwing
Tengere Pantserjuffer
(Lestes virens)

Dwingelderveld NP, Spier
24 July 2012

Large Red Damselfly
(Pyrrhosoma nymphula)
In my Yard, Hilversum
9 June 2013

Females occur in many colour forms, but all have yellow bands around the abdominal segments. They can easily be confused with the Small Red Damselfly (Ceriagrion tenellum), but the latter has orange legs, while the Large Red Damselfly has black legs.
This European damselfly is one of the most common damselflies and often the first damselfly to emerge, usually in April or May.

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