Friday, June 18, 2010

... damsels in distress

We had a mass emergence of damselflies in our local pond last week, which provided a sudden source of food for some enterprising spiders ...... and provided me with an education in the complexities of damselfly identification, courtesy of Klass-Douwe Dijkstra's Field Guide to the Dragonflies and Britain and Europe.
This, apparently, is a bog-standard mature male common bluetail, but this....
... with its pink thorax, is a 'C' type immature female
Almost as soon as they emerged they began courting, with mature females mating with males in the remarkable 'wheel' configuration. These, above and below, are (I think) common blues in flagrante

After mating some females had already begun to lay eggs on waterweeds, with the male still attached...
This floating reed mace stem was evidently a prime landing pad for oviposting females, with no less than five pairs jostling for space.


  1. Great photos Phil. I'm sure I can see the eyes light up on the spiders round my pond when the damsels are about ;)

  2. Great pictures Phil.
    I find some of these quite difficult to ID; especially the females, with their variations.

  3. I think the swallows did well out of these too, John

  4. Hi Keith, Now I've got some idea about their ID I'll be looking for others...