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Reddish Vale Country Park

Adult male Blue tailed Damselflies have a head and thorax patterned with blue and black. They have a largely black abdomen with very narrow pale markings where each segment joins the next. Segment eight, however, is entirely pale blue.

Female Blue-tailed Damselflies come in a variety of colour forms, including a pink form, a violet form and a pale green form. Purple/violet, pink and green forms are juvenile, with the colour darkening as the damselfly ages. Mature female damselflies are usually brown/green, or blue which is an andromorph form.

 

 

 

Damselflies (suborder Zygoptera) are insects in the order Odonata. Damselflies are similar to dragonflies, but the adults can be differentiated by the fact that the wings of most damselflies are held along, and parallel to, the body when at rest. Furthermore, the hindwing of the damselfly is essentially similar to the forewing, while the hindwing of the dragonfly broadens near the base. Damselflies are also usually smaller than dragonflies and weaker fliers in comparison, and their eyes are separated.

 

Damselflies undergo incomplete metamorphosis, with an aquatic nymph stage. The female lays eggs in water, sometimes in underwater vegetation, or high in trees in bromeliads and other water-filled cavities. Nymphs are carnivorous, feeding on daphnia, mosquito larvae, and various other small aquatic organisms, using extendable jaws similar to those of the dragonfly nymph. The gills of damselfly nymphs are large and external, resembling three fins at the end of the abdomen. After moulting several times, the winged adult emerges and eats flies, mosquitoes, and other small insects. 

 

 

The Banded Demoiselle (Calopteryx splendens) is a species of damselfly belonging to the family Calopterygidae

 

 Banded Demoiselles are the largest of our native damselflies.  The males have a dark blue-green metallic body and dark blue coloured patches on their wings.  Female Banded Demoiselless do not have the dark patches on the wings, but the wings have a pale green tinge all over.  Their bodies are an iridescent pale green colour.

 

In the air Banded Demoiselles resemble a butterflies with their gentle, fluttering flight.  You'll usually find Banded Demoiselles around slow moving areas of water.  They are very sensitive to pollution and so their presence is often an indicator of good water quality.

 

Damselfly

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Banded Demoiselle

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Common Blue Damselfly 

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The male has a blue abdomen with black spots; the female, a yellow or bluish abdomen with variable dark markings. This species is common throughout Britain.

During mating, the male clasps the female by her neck while she bends her body around to his reproductive organs – this is called a mating wheel. The pair flies together over the water and eggs are laid within a suitable plant, just below the surface.

 

 

 

Blue Tailed Damselfly 

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Damselfly