Monday 16 July 2018

Damsels causing distress

I don't know about damsels in distress, but sorting out the little blue ones has caused me some distress over the years. I got the hang of them many years ago but middle age intervened and I forgot more than I had learnt. The long hot summer has brought out the curiosity in me again though so with field guide in one hand and site guide in the other I set off to see some of the scarcer species to be found within striking distance of home in Dorset...
Scarce Blue-tailed Damselfly is on the GB red list - a new species for me
Note the tiny black marks on s9 (near the tail tip) which help identify this species
Finding water on its parched Dorset heathland home was the key to finding this one
Compare the Scarce Blue-tailed above with the 'regular' Blue-tailed Damselfly here
Another new species for me was this Southern Damselfly in the New Forest
The smallest blue damselfly and one of the rarest, it was busting some serious moves
Southern Damselfly can be identified by the 'mercury' mark on s2 (just behind the thorax)...
...and the spear-shaped marks on the abdomen. Compare to:
Azure Damselfly, with a 'beer glass' shape on s2, and...
...White-legged Damselfly - more black on the abdomen and white sides to the legs
A bit easier was this Small Red Damselfly in the New Forest - an all red abdomen compared to...
...Large Red Damselfly (also New Forest)
Longham Lakes was full of Common Blue Damselfly (which has a 'mushroom' mark on s2)
And after all those little blue jobs, something nice and easy to close: an impressive Golden-ringed Dragonfly in the New Forest

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