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

The narrative was kindly written
 and supplied by
Mr Ken Crick

Banded Demoiselle (Calopteryx splendens)

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 45mm - Wing Span 61 to 65mm.
 
Male: - (See above) The males body can be metallic blue or green or a combination of both colours, which seems to be dependent on the time of year and location.

The wings veneration is strong but more obvious in the pigmented band reminiscent of an inky thumb print. The wing lacks pigmentation from the root to the nodus and at the tip.

Female: - (See below) The females wings are tinted green throughout. Almost at the wing tips on the wings leading edge is a slightly elongated single but distinctive white cell known as the pseudo-pterostigma. The abdomen and thorax are metallic bronze / green with the most obvious bronzing occurring at each end of the abdomen.

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Status: - Found throughout the lowlands of Ireland, Wales and England. Where it is present it is often abundant. There are a limited number of sites north of Hull, mainly to the east of the Pennines.

Habitat: - Mostly open, slow flowing, muddy bottomed small rivers and streams. They can be found on lakes and ponds that are adjacent to suitable rivers and streams. Individual members of both sexes are encountered well away from their preferred breeding sites. There is even some suggestion that individuals may cross the North Sea.

Flight period: - Mid May to mid September.

General: - With high population densities only a proportion of the males can hold territory. Territories seem to be small and are defended vigorously. Copulation is brief lasting 5 minutes or less. The female egg-lays into a wide variety of marginal vegetation while the male remains on guard but not in contact with the female. Territories must support stands of relatively tall vegetation for perching and egg-laying but sites shaded by trees will rapidly become unsuitable.

The narrative was kindly written and supplied by Ken Crick

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

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