The first ports of call for anyone wishing to identify a specific dragonfly or damselfly are the British Dragonfly Society’s own website together with one of the several excellent field guides which can be obtained from specialist booksellers such as NHBS or Atropos. However, for those persons needing a quick ID for species usually found in Cheshire (or neighbouring counties), it is hoped that the following images together with the species’ chief diagnostic features will prove useful. The images can be accessed in the field by anyone with a smartphone and a good signal.

Please note that the ID descriptors have been gleaned from Smallshire, D. & Swash, A. (2014) “Britain’s Dragonflies – A field Guide to the damselflies and dragonflies of Britain and Ireland”. All images are the copyright of John Roberts except where specifically indicated. For the time being, only males of the species are illustrated but, in time, images of females will be added.

Damselflies (Zygoptera)

Beautiful Demoiselle Calopteryx virgo

The Beautiful Demoiselle is designated by the BDS as a Locally Important Species in Cheshire.

Beautiful Demoiselle


Banded Demoiselle Calopteryx splendens

Banded Demoiselle


Azure Damselfly Coenagrion puella



Common Blue Damselfly Enallagma cyathigerum

Common Blue


Variable Damselfly Coenagrion pulchellum

The Variable Damselfly is designated by the BDS as a Locally Important Species in Cheshire.



Blue-tailed Damselfly Ischnura elegans



Red-eyed Damselfly Erythromma najas

Red-eyed Damsel


White-legged Damselfly Platycnemis pennipes

White-legged Damsel


Large Red Damselfly Pyrrhosoma nymphula

Large Red


Emerald Damselfly Lestes sponsa

Emerald Damsel

Dragonflies (Anisoptera)

Emperor Dragonfly Anax imperator



Common Hawker Aeshna juncea

Common Hawker


Southern Hawker Aeshna cyanea

Southern Hawker


Migrant Hawker Aeshna mixta

Migrant Hawker


Golden-ringed Dragonfly Cordulegaster boltonii



Brown Hawker  Aeshna grandis

Brown Hawker


Broad-bodied Chaser Libellula depressa

Broad-bodied Chaser


Four-spotted Chaser Libellula quadrimaculata



Black-tailer Skimmer Orthetrum cancellatum

Black-tailed Skimmer


Black Darter Sympetrum danae

Black Darter


Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum

Common Darter


White-faced Darter Leucorrhinia dubia

The White-faced Darter is designated by the BDS as a Locally Important Species in Cheshire.

White-faced Darter