Scientific Name: Coenagrion scitulum (Coenagrionidae).
English Name: Dainty Bluet; Dainty Damselfly (Narrow-winged or Pond Damselfly family).
French Name: L'Agrion mignon (='dainty bluet').
5 Key Characters:
- long pale pterostigma (the opaque cell near the tip on the leading edge of the wing).
- the distinctive black mark on segments 1-2 looks like a long eared cat (ahem...use your imagination a bit), a tuning fork or a thick U on a short stalk.
- segments 3-5 are half black, segments 6-7 are all black in males.
- black markings on the abdomens of females are torpedo shaped.
- blue and black (females can be greenish).
Lookalikes: Other Bluets, which have different patterns of black and smaller, darker, more equal sided pterostigmas. More common than the Mercury Bluet C. mercuriale, less common than the Azure Bluet C. puella, but can be seen in the same places flying together, so care is needed.
Habitat: Still stagnant or slow flowing water with lots of aquatic vegetation and sun eg old ponds, the weedy 'tails' of étangs, permanent marshes, occasionally artificial bodies of water that have been taken over by invasive plants. The species is not always easy to see as they are small and tend to stay out on the aquatic plants.
Adult Flight Period: May-June-July-August.
Status: Common in the Brenne. Widespread in central and western France.
Photographed by Loire Valley Nature: