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

The narrative was kindly written
 and supplied by
Mr Ken Crick

Beautiful Demoiselle (Calopteryx virgo)

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 58mm.
 
Male: - (See above) The males body is a metallic blue / green; the wings veneration is very strong in both sexes. The wing pigmentation diminishes at the root and occasionally at the tip. The wing colour varies with the amount of available sun light from iridescent blue to dark black / brown.

Female: - (See below) The female has a metallic green head, thorax and abdomen which suffuses to bronze from segment 7 to 10. Almost at the tip of each wings leading edge is an elongated single but distinctive white cell known as the pseudo-pterostigma, some what more elongated than that of C splendens. The colour of the rest of the wing is a dark iridescent bronze.

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Status: - Usually very localized, found mainly to the west and south of England and Ireland and throughout Wales. Disconnected populations can be found in the Lake District and West Scotland.

Habitat: - Frequents streams with sand and fine shingle substrate. Flow rates are medium to fast and the streams can be quite deeply cut. Tolerates more shade than C splendens, it is often found in wooded glades through which a suitable water body passes. Also found on streams passing through farmland, heathland, and moorland.

Flight period: - Late May to late August.

General: - Where there is a suitable habitat crossover, this species can co-exist with C splendens. Males are territorial, using a particular bank side stem from which to guard their territory. A threat display is achieved by opening and shutting of the wings. Where population densities are high, males without territory adopt a different strategy, more an opportunistic snatch and grab. Copulation is preceded by an aerial display, acquiescence on the part of the female results in rapid copulation (2 minutes plus). The female proceeds to egg-lay with the male perched on guard or hovering somewhere nearby.

The narrative was kindly written and supplied by Ken Crick

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

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