Calopteryx virgo meridionalis (Selys, 1873)

Calopteryx virgo meridionalis imageSynonyms: Libellula virgo Linnaeus, 1758:245; Calopteryx virgo Selys & Hagen, 1850:134; Calopteryx virgo race meridionalis Selys, 1873:509; Calopteryx virgo meridionalis Capra, 1945:254.

Common names: Engl: Beautiful demoiselle; Russ: Krasotka-devushka yuzhnaya; Turk: Buyuk kiz bocegi.

Order (Scientific): ODONATA.

Family (Scientific): CALOPTERYGIDAE.

Taxonomic description: Total body length 49-54 mm, length of hindwing 31-37 mm. Eyes hemispherical, relatively small, distant, situated laterally on the head. Both wing pairs similar in shape. Whole wings uniformly coloured except for the very basal regions which appear transparent. Pronounced sexual dimorphism in colour pattern. Male: body metallic blue; wings darkbrown, with shining deep blue veins. Female: body dull dark green-brownish; wings dull brown, veins also unshining. Abdomen slender.

Calopteryx virgo meridionalis arealIUCN Status:
    World level: VU
    Black Sea Regional level: VU
    Subregion level: VU

Distribution: Transpalearctic, polytypic species; this subspecies occurs in the W-Mediterranean area - N-Africa, S-France, Italy, Greece, eastward up to the Marmara region of Asia Minor and the Strandzha Mts. coastal region of the Black Sea.

Habitats type, Critical habitats, Limiting factors: Clear freshwater small torrents rich in vegetation, including small brooks on the sea shore line. The latter could be considered critical in connection with urbanization and sea-resort expansion.

Biology: Larvae rheophilous, quite rare, inhabitants of the rhithral; both larvae and adults active predators; period of emergence from V to IX-X; adults relatively slow fliers.

Population trends: A continuing trend of decline has recently been observed, although not quantitatively measured.

Threats: Polluting and/or drying up the habitats as a result of urbanization, as well as of uncontrolled stockfarming (pig, sheep etc.) activity both on the coastal plain and in the Strandzha Mts. hilly land.

Conservation measures taken: Some of the habitats are in the “Uzunbodzhak” and “Silkosiya” forest reserves.

Conservation measures proposed: Inclusion of Calopteryx virgo meridionalis in the list of Rare and Vulnerable Species.


  1. Beschovski, V. 1989. Representatives of the families Epallagidae and Calopterygidae (Odonata) in Bulgaria. - Acta zool. bulg., 38: 3-8.
  2. Beschovski, V. 1994. Fauna of Bulgaria. 23. Insecta, Odonata. - Ed. cad. Sci. bulg., Sofia. 372 p.
  3. Capra, F. 1945. Odonata di Liguria. Les Ligustricae LXXI. - Ann. Mus. Civ. Stor. Nat. Genova, 62: 253-275.
  4. Donath, H. 1987. Odonaten von der suedbulgarischen Schwarzmeerkueste. - Not. odonatol., 2, 10: 157-168.
  5. St. Quentin, D. 1965. Zur Odonatenfauna Anatoliens und angrenzende Gebiete. - Annalen Naturhist. Mus. Wien, 63: 531-552.
  6. Red Data Book of Ukraine, p.64.

Compiled by: K.Kumanski.