Norfolk Damselfly

Norfolk Damselfly
Norfolk Damselfly or
Dark Bluet
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Odonata
Family: Coenagrionidae
Genus: Coenagrion
Species: C. armatum
Binomial name
Coenagrion armatum
(Charpentier, 1840)

Norfolk Damselfly or Dark Bluet (Coenagrion armatum) is a species of blue damselfly of the family Coenagrionidae. This species acquired its common name from its discovery in 1903 and presence in a very restricted area of the Norfolk Broads. Records came from Sutton, Stalham and Hickling Broads.



At first glance, this damselfly may resemble a Blue-tailed Damselfly or a Red-eyed Damselfly more than a typical Coenagrion species. Both sexes have a distinctive black abdomen with coloured segments at both the base and the tip.[1]


This damselfly was lost from its British sites due to natural succession from open water to dry reedbeds. On the continent, it breeds in ponds ditches and slow rivers.

Its breeding biology is poorly known. Eggs are laid in the stems and leaves of aquatic plants. The larvae live amongst aquatic plants and probably emerge after one year.


The flight period in Britain used to extend from late May to late July. Males perch on floating leaves. It is a strong-flying damselfly.

Status and distribution

It is found from northern and Eastern Europe eastwards to Siberia and Mongolia. It was believed to be lost in the Netherlands in the 20th century but was rediscovered there in 1999.

Status in Britain

The species was formerly recorded as a breeding species in Britain, in Norfolk. It was last recorded in 1968. Since its main range is from the Baltic area eastwards, the likelihood of recolonisation in Britain seems low.