Welcome to my Iberian Dragonfly pagesSmall Pincertail - Onychogomphus forcipatus

Here you will find image galleries, notes and articles on the Anisoptera (true dragonflies) currently known to have occured on the Iberian peninsula of Spain & Portugal.

If you would like to contact me about the dragonflies that you have found on the Iberian peninsula please get in touch via the Contact Steve option on the main menu.

Male Epaulet SkimmerThe Epaulet Skimmer is one of a number of dragonfly species where the mature male is predominantly blue and the female/immature male is predominantly a tan/brown colour. However it is unique amongst the Skimmers occurring on the Iberian peninsula in having a single white stripe or “epaulet” outlined in black on each side of the thorax.

These "epaulets" are clearly visible when the insect is viewed from the side, running from just above the middle leg to just below the base of the forewing, and are present in both sexes regardless of their maturity, (with the possible exception of really old males).


male Small PincertailThe Small Pincertail is a relatively common & widespread species in the Iberian Peninsula, though apparently absent from the west coast regions of Portugal & the north coast regions of Spain.
There are three subspecies of Onychogomphus forcipatus with Onychogomphus forcipatus unguiculatus being the one that occurs throughout the Iberian Peninsula. It is a predominantly black & yellow, medium size dragonfly, with blue eyes in the Mediterranean area, (though greenish eyes further north in Europe). It is very similar in appearance to the Large Pincertail - Onychogomphus uncatus and the two species cannot be reliably separated by colour markings alone.

  Violet Dropwing - Trithemis annulata

Welcome to my gallery of dragonflies occuring in Spain & Portugal.

Each photo will have captions giving information on where & when each species was photographed. 

Remember to check back with us from time to time as new photographs will be added to this gallery as they become available.

Desert Darter - Sympetrum sinaiticumDesert Darter – Sympetrum sinaiticum

This relatively small dragonfly is comparatively scarce in Spain, but in recent years it has started to become more frequently encountered. This may be as a result of a greater awareness of the species or perhaps as a result of climate change. It is a species of arid regions and individuals are frequently found a long way from water. In this respect the species is unusual amongst the Iberian dragonfly fauna in that adults seem to delay reproductive behaviour for perhaps two months or so before returning to water to breed.

A female Copper Demoiselle - Calopteryx haemorrhoidalis

Dragonflies and damselflies are extremely beautiful insects which capture the very essence of summer as they perform their intricate aerobatics around the gleaming backdrop of rivers and pools on hot and sunny days. As such they are highly visible and important indicators of the health of our wetlands being top insect predators both as airborne adults & aquatic larvae.