Calopteryx virgo (Linnaeus, 1758)
Beautiful Demoiselle

Type locality: Germany, no locality data available.


The largest and darkest Calopteryx, with (almost) entirely metallic cobalt wings in males and transparently greenish to deep ebony wings in females. Wings, especially male Hw, broader than in other Calopteryx, almost paddle-shaped. Male wings appear completely purplish blue (but see variation). His ‘tail-light’ (underside of abdomen tip) is brown to reddish, extensively marked with black (paler or unmarked in other species). Females are metallic (brownish) green and may be hard to separate from C. exul, but the wings tend to be broader and browner (sometimes very darkly so). [Adapted from Dijkstra & Lewington 2006]

Habitat description

Streams and headwaters in open areas in forest or shaded by gallery forest. Often with emergent and aquatic vegetation, submerged roots, coarse detritus and/or rocks. Inferred to occur from 100 to 600 m above sea level, but possibly up to 1800.


confirmed: Algeria; Morocco

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.


  • Linnaeus C. (1758). Systema naturae per regna tria naturae, secundum classes, ordines, genera, species, cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis, locis. (10th ed). (Odonata, 543-546) Laurentii Salvii, Holmiae 824pp.

Citation: Dijkstra, K.-D.B (editor). African Dragonflies and Damselflies Online. [2024-05-30].