Blue-green mosaic maiden

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Blue-green mosaic maiden
Blue-green damsel (Aeshna cyanea), male in flight

Blue-green damsel ( Aeshna cyanea ), male in flight

Order : Dragonflies (Odonata)
Subordination : Dragonflies (Anisoptera)
Superfamily : Aeshnoidea
Family : Noble dragonflies (Aeshnidae)
Genre : Maid of the Mosaic ( Aeshna )
Type : Blue-green mosaic maiden
Scientific name
Aeshna cyanea
( Müller , 1764)

The blue-green damsel ( Aeshna cyanea ) is a species from the family of noble dragonflies (Aeshnidae), which belong to the suborder of the dragonflies (Anisoptera). It is a large dragonfly, often found in Central Europe, with a maximum wingspan of eleven centimeters.


The two oval thoracic spots are typical

The blue-green mosaic maiden has a body length of seven to eight centimeters and wingspan of 9.5 to eleven centimeters. This makes it about the size of the Great Royal Dragonfly . The chest section ( thorax ) of the animals is yellow-green with black markings and has two larger oval, green spots dorsally in both sexes. In other mosaic maiden species, these are either smaller, differently shaped or even not present at all. The abdomen of the males is black with green (segments 1 to 7) or blue spots (segments 8 to 10) in a characteristic arrangement. There are also bruises on the sides of the abdomen in the male.

The females have a brown-black-green piebald abdomen throughout. In uncolored, young animals, the green spots also appear blue, which can be confused with the peat mosaic maiden . The sexes can also be distinguished by the differently shaped upper abdominal appendages ( cerci ). In addition, the males, like many other noble dragonflies, have a constriction (“waist”) in the area of ​​the second abdominal segment, while the females have a relatively evenly cylindrical abdomen. In the side profile, you can finally see the laying apparatus at the lower end of the body.


The species is one of the most common and widespread dragonflies in Europe. The entire area is western Palearctic and covers a large part of Europe (from Scotland and southern Scandinavia in the north to Italy [without the southwest] and the northern Balkans in the south); the eastern border is formed by the Urals. The blue-green mermaid can also occur in northwest Africa (Algeria). The species is very common in Central Europe.

Way of life

The blue-green mosaic maiden can be found in stagnant and slowly flowing waters of all kinds from July to October, including small bodies of water and garden ponds. Their hunting flights can be very extensive, so that they are mainly found in forests and in clearings some distance from the water. They fly here at low altitude in search of other insects .

The males fly off the banks of the water in search of a suitable partner, often stopping in a shaking flight. The mating begins at the water and usually ends in the treetops of the trees near the water.

The females can lay around 200 eggs within an hour. The eggs are pierced into dead plant material floating on the water or just below the surface of the water, into tree trunks, but also into mosses near the shore. The eggs overwinter, only in the following spring do the prolarva hatch, and a short time later the larvae hatch . The development time of the larvae is between two and three years, during which up to 14 moults take place.

Series of images showing the hatching process of a female of the blue-green mosaic maiden with time information (see also a video on the same topic )



  • Heiko Bellmann: Observe dragonflies - determine. Naturbuch Verlag, Augsburg 1993. ISBN 3-89440-107-9
  • Gerhard Jurzitza: The Kosmos dragonfly guide . Franckh-Kosmos Verlags GmbH & Co., Stuttgart 2000. ISBN 3-440-08402-7
  • G. Peters: The noble dragonflies of Europe - Aeshnidae. Die Neue Brehm-Bücherei Vol. 585, Ziemsen, Wittenberg 1987. ISBN 3-7403-0050-7
  • Sternberg, K. (2000): Aeshna cyaena Müller, 1764 - Blue-green mosaic maid . Pp. 38-54. in: Sternberg / Buchwald (ed.): Die Libellen Baden-Württemberg. Volume 2: Dragonflies (Anisoptera). Ulmer, Stuttgart, ISBN 3-8001-3514-0

Web links

Commons : Bluegreen Mosaic Maiden  - Album with Pictures, Videos and Audio Files