Monday, 27 June 2016

Keeping up with the Coenagrions

Didn't manage to get out this weekend so I'll catch up with a few damselfly encounters I haven't yet posted.

First I got this cracking shot of ovipositing Large Reds at Shibdon Pond sent to me by Shibdon George on the 14th, the first he's noted there. It's a while since I've recorded any there meself but as I don't get up there very often that's no real surprise.

Female Large Red damsel half submerged as she lays eggs on the plant stem.
A dangerous occupation as she can be taken by an underwater predator.
Great photo of something I've never been able to study in close-up before and I think the first time I've ever seen
a picture of damselfly eggs, so nice one George.
Courtesy of G. Simpson

At Gibside on the 20th I encountered damsels and not much else at the Lily Pond. Plenty of them but on a sunny afternoon they weren't in the mood for posing for close-ups, so just a few record shots.

Blue-form Azure famale 

Azure male

Large Red male in the sunlight

Immature Common Blue damsel male
Can't recall seeing such a pale specimen before

At Stargate last Thursday four species of damsel were on show, mainly Blue-tails but I did manage to get some canny shots of both Common Blue and Azure in the mating wheel :

Common Blue damsels in the mating wheel- First female of the species I've noted this year

Same couple making the perfect heart shape - aaaaaaaaah

This Azure pair landed at perfect height for a few snaps

Unusually they allowed me to get right up close

Look at that face, he seems to be enjoying it . . . .

. . . . mind you, she doesn't :-/

I haven't seen a lot of Common Blues so far this year, but for the first time I've captured three stages of development from teneral to mature, so can do a side by side comparison :

Top to Bottom
Teneral, Immature, Mature.

Interesting to see the colour change as they age.
Another busy week in store so touch and go whether I can synchronise a spare hour or two with a spell of sunshine. Forecast isn't that great so we'll have to wait and see :-/ 

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