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

The narrative was kindly written
 and supplied by
Mr Ken Crick

Blue Tailed Damselfly (Ischnura elegans)

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 31mm - Wing Span 35mm.
Male: - The male (see above) is a slim damselfly with an almost all black upper surface to both the abdomen and thorax. The thorax has two fine blue strips. The eighth segment of the abdomen is all blue. The black of the remainder of the abdomen is broken only by a fine light line at each abdominal segment joint. The flanks of the thorax are sky blue. Sexually immature males vary in colour. The ultimately blue areas of the thorax starting off grey / green and abdominal segment 8 grey / violet.

Female: - The females abdomen is of a considerably heavier build than the male. The flanks of the thorax can be seen in one of four colour forms, rose pink, violet, green or blue. The blue form, which closely resembles the male, being the most commonly observed.

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Status: - Common & very widespread in England, Wales & Ireland. Also found across much of Scotland.

Habitat: - Sometimes the only Odonata species present at a site if roadside run off or other mild pollutants make the water unsuitable for other species. Wide ranging, found on garden ponds, bog pools, brackish pools, lakes, gravel pits, streams, rivers, canals and ditches.

Flight period: - Commonly seen from May to early September.

General: - Joined up couples (see above) are readily located and often allow close examination. They are sexual athletes with copulation lasting from 2 to 6 hours. They are companion species of both Common Blue and Azure Damselflies. Males are territorial remaining close to water. The female egg-lays alone. On cloudy days this species is often the only active odonate. Despite appearing to remain close to water and an apparently weak flight action, the species readily seeks out new favourable breeding locations.

The mature adults often roost by water, making use of narrow stemmed rushes around which they can see, one eye either side. The casual observer may confuse this species with the Scarce Blue-tailed Damselfly (Ischnura pumilio) but careful examination would reveal that I pumilio has a blue tip covering the ninth abdominal segment and not the eighth.

The narrative was kindly written and supplied by Ken Crick

All featured images weretaken by and remain the property of Chris Brooks

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