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

The narrative was kindly written
 and supplied by
Mr Ken Crick

Common Blue Damselfly (Enallagma cyathigerum)

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 32mm Wing Span 36 -42mm.
 
Male: - The male (see above) is the bluest of the blue / black damselflies. The thorax viewed from above bares two broad blue stripes. Just behind the wing roots on the second abdominal segment is a mushroom shaped symbol, the stalk of which may be absent. The upper surface of segments 8 & 9 towards the tip of the abdomen are all blue, often appearing brighter than the rest of the blue areas of the insect.

Female: - The female (see below) has three colour forms, blue, straw and grey / green. All have black markings each shaped like a “V2” rocket on segments 3 to 7. Abdominal segment 8 exhibits a black triangular shape unique to females of this species.

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Status: - Common and very wide spread throughout the United Kingdom.

Habitat: - Preference for large water bodies, lakes, flooded gravel pits, larger ponds, canals and the stiller waters of slow flowing rivers.

Flight period: - Mid May to mid September.

General: - Males & females can be encountered well away from water usually in stands of tall grass. Sexually mature couples pairing up before midday and making the trip, in tandem, to the waters edge to copulate and egg lay.

Other sexually mature males lie in wait at the waters edge to intercept any incoming female. Males on suitably large water bodies regularly fly in excess of 100 metres out over the water, moving fast and low, often in large numbers.

Egg laying usually begins in tandem but females are known to egg lay under water alone to depths in excess of 1 metre spending up to 1 hour below the surface. On returning to the surface the female can be too exhausted to escape the waters surface tension. All is not lost as a passing male may well drop down and rescue her.

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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