Downy Emerald, Cordulia aenea

The downy emerald (Cordulia aenea) is a species of dragonfly that can be found throughout most areas of Europe. It resides near ponds and lakes in woodland areas. This species is bronze and metallic green in color, with soft hairs occurring across its thorax, the trait from which it received its common name. As is typical to emerald dragonflies, this species has bright green eyes. It reaches an average length of 1.9 inches.

The downy emerald can be seen between the months of May and July. After breeding, females lay their eggs in the water, producing aquatic larvae that do not emerge for up to three years. Once the larvae emerge from the water and become adults, they will live for only two more months, during which time they breed and lay more eggs. The downy emerald has experienced some habitat loss, which has caused it to disappear from some areas of its range in Great Britain.

Image Caption: Male specimen of the dragonfly Cordulia aenea (Downy Emerald). Credit: Christian Fischer/Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 3.0)