Iridescent dainty damselfly

With radiant goldfish bowl - like eye,

A multi-jewelled living brooch

Flits gently on at my approach.

Soft powder blues, reds, emerald green

bright wings reflecting summer's sheen.


From the middle of May our damselflies emerge from their underwater nymphal stage. There are around nine species in our areas and first on the scene is the large red followed by by the blue -tailed then two very similar species the common blue and azure blue. But arguably the most stunning of them all and my favourite insect is the relatively large banded demoiselle,lover of moving water. Pictured is the male while female is a glorious metallic bright green.

As an identification point, the more robust dragonflies hold their wings at right angles to their bodies while the slim bodied damselflies place their wings roof wise along their abdomens. So slim are they in fact that our ancestors called them 'devil's darning needles' !. 

Dragonflies first appeared on earth about four hundred million years ago compared with damselflies, the new kids on the block evolved a mere three hundred million years ago.

It is fascinating to watch swarms of common blue and azure blue flying singly or in tandem just above still water surfaces looking like miniature helicopters in flight.