All featured images were taken by and remain the property of Chris Brooks

The narrative was kindly written
 and supplied by
Mr Ken Crick

Azure Damselfly (Coenagrion puella)

A Species Narrative by Ken Crick

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Welcome to my new style narrative, the content of which has been kindly written and supplied by Ken Crick. The narrative is intended to give an insight into the life cycle and characteristics of the featured species.

Size: - Approximate Length 33mm - Wing Span 41mm.

Male: - Slim and elegant this pale blue damselfly is usually identified by the black “u” symbol located on the second abdominal segment. The 8th abdominal segment is pale blue; segment 9 has pale blue background with another truncated black “u” at its base. The upper surface of the thorax in front of the wings is marked with fine (antehumeral) stripes. Immature males exhibit all the above black markings with pale violet pigmentation that will become blue with sexual maturity.

Female: - Can be seen in two colour forms. The green forms upper surface is predominantly black. The segment joints are highlighted by fine green lines. The second abdominal segment carries a closed thistle mark. The blue colour form has four interrupted blue bands on the leading edge of segments 3 to 6, with the same closed thistle mark. Females are best viewed in tandem with males particularly at sites where the Variable Damselfly is also known to be present.

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Status: - Common & very wide spread in England, Wales Ireland and across the lowlands of southern Scotland.

Habitat: - Preference for smaller water bodies, calm bays of lakes & flooded gravel pits, canals and stiller waters of slow flowing rivers.

Flight period: - Commonly seen from May to late July.

General: - Mostly found around the vegetated margins of still water. Males are not territorial but single males will attack copulating couples in an attempt to dislodge the females current partner and take his place. Copulating pairs can maintain this activity for up to 30 minutes. Eggs are laid in both floating and submerged plant material. During the early / mid season females egg lay in tandem with the male grasping her between the head and the thorax with his anal claspers. The males abdomen points vertically up affording the best possible view of incoming predators and other males. It is not uncommon for the presence of a single egg laying pair to attract other couples to egg lay in the same plant stem or floating mat of vegetation.

The narrative was kindly written and supplied by Ken Crick

All featured images were taken by and remain the property of Chris Brooks

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