Species Of The Week Number 36: Azure Damselfly

Damselflies are smaller, slimmer versions of Dragonflies. You can tell them apart as at rest Damselfies' wings are closed up alongside their body whereas a Dragonfly sticks its wings out like an aeroplane.

Azure Damselflies are quite common near ponds and watercourses where their presence is quite a good sign of water quality.. There are actually 7 species of small blue damselflies in the UK and telling them apart is a bit tricky. The Azure Damselfly has a U shaped black band on the second segment of the male's abdomen. The females are green rather than blue.

When they emerge and after a bit of displaying and showing off, a male and female create a kind of heart shape, with the male holding the female's head and the female curling round to access sperm from the base of the male's abdomen. They often then remained intertwined whilst the female then deposits her fertilised eggs - using her ovipositor - into plants in the water. Its thought that the male hangs around to stop another male from re-mating with the female.

The eggs develop into nymphs which feed up in the pond for a year or two, undergoing successive moults as they grow, eventually climbing up a plant stem until the adult form emerges.

According to Wikipedia, Damselflies have been around for at least 299 million years. So in just 1 million years time they will have a big anniversary celebration with cake and party hats, no doubt. Cant wait.

Publicado el 29 de mayo de 2023 por clunym clunym


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