The Southern Damselfly (Coenagrion mercuriale) is a species of damselfly in family that is found across Europe and the United Kingdom. Its natural habitats are rivers and freshwater springs. It is threatened by habitat loss.
They require areas of open vegetation, mixed with slow flowing water in which to lay their eggs.
The larvae spend 2 years underwater before emerging as damselflies.
Status in the United Kingdom
It is thought that 25% of the worlds population exists within the United Kingdom but it has declined by 30% since 1960 due to changes in grazing, land drainage and water abstraction.
Example places where they are found include the New Forest. In 2009, 500 adults were captured and released in the Venn Ottery nature reserve in Devon. This nature reserve is owned and managed by the Devon Wildlife Trust and grazing has been re-introduced at there to help encourage this species which had not been recorded there since 1988.