The Scarce Blue Tailed Damselfly
These images were taken in Hampshire's New Forest. After a thorough search of the area an isolated pocket of perhaps 10 males were located.
This damselfly lived up to its name. It is not common and is restricted to some very specific habitat. They were resident in a very boggy area that was grazed by both cattle and horses which kept the bank side vegetation very low, a requirment of this species in some locations.
This Scarce Blue Tailed Damselfly can be seen from early June until late August and occasionally into early September.
The male could easily be confused with the Common Blue Tailed Damselfly which is generally slightly larger but not exclusively so. The main identifying feature between the two species are the blue segements near the abdomen's tip.
In the Common Blue Tail segment 8 is all blue with segment 9 being black. In the Scarce Blue Tailed variety segment 9 is blue with about a third of segment 8. In addition the Scarce Blue Tail is a some what paler blue and has a less purposeful flight. Differentiating between the species can be challenging and a close examination is necessary without a trained eye.
The female when mature is green in colour with a black abdomen, otherwise it is similar to immature specimens which are bright orange (see below).