Erythromma lindenii (Selys, 1840)

Type locality: Belgium, no locality data available.


The slender, all-blue males skim swiftly over water and rest on floating perches, far from the banks. With binoculars, the broad antehumerals and terminally-shifted ‘blue tail’ can be seen. In the hand, the unique configuration of markings on the head, thorax and abdomen are apparent. In size and general appearance, close to Enallagma cyathigerum and Coenagrion puella. Postocular spots are linear, often connected across the back of the head, sometimes absent. Pale antehumerals wider than the black humerals (as in E. cyathigerum), but short black line below humeral is also present (as in Coenagrion). Male abdomen is blue, upperside S2 with a complete black goblet-shaped band, S3-6 with elongate black spearheads, S7-8 largely black, and S9-10 largely blue. The female is peculiarly three-coloured: the head, thorax and abdomen base are pale yellowish brown to greenish, the middle of the abdomen (especially S4-6) is blue, while the tip is pale brown. The upperside abdomen is almost continuously black from the base to tip. The female’s three colour zones and markings are diagnostic. Coenagrion and Enallagma males have rounder postocular spots, often less blue on the thorax (S3-6 and S9-10), but more on S2 and S8, resulting in a different distribution of black and blue. Male upper appendages longer than in most bluets. Female with round knobs on sides of thorax behind pronotum. Female appendages are pale (but black in most similar species). Unlike E. cyathigerum, there is no vulvar spine. [Adapted from Dijkstra & Lewington 2006]

Habitat description

Mostly rivers, but also streams and standing waters, in open landscapes. Usually with aquatic vegetation, often with submerged roots. From 0 to 2100 m above sea level, but mostly below 500.


confirmed: Algeria; Morocco; Tunisia

Map citation: Clausnitzer, V., K.-D.B. Dijkstra, R. Koch, J.-P. Boudot, W.R.T. Darwall, J. Kipping, B. Samraoui, M.J. Samways, J.P. Simaika & F. Suhling, 2012. Focus on African Freshwaters: hotspots of dragonfly diversity and conservation concern. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 10: 129-134.


  • de Sélys-Longchamps, E. (1840). Monographie des libellulidées d'Europe. Librairie Encyclop. de Roret, Paris, 1-220.

Citation: Dijkstra, K.-D.B (editor). African Dragonflies and Damselflies Online. [2024-04-23].