June 4, 2011
Good warm sunny weather prompted a visit to Shropshire especially to look for White-legged, Variable and Red-eyed Damselflies. Localities near Atcham and Berrington were visited as these are places where all three are known to occur. White-legged Damselflies are nearing their northern limit here but neverheless are quite frequent amongst the dense bankside vegetation of the slow flowing River Severn. Many were seen today in various stages of maturing colour form but could be readily recognised by their distinctive white legs.
[The distinctive white legs showed up well]
[The chocolate brown pterostigmas are distinctive]
Below, two photos of an immature:
On a small pool near Berrington several Variable Damselflies were found, the distinctive ‘wine-glass’ shape on segment 2 helping to separate them from other Blues. Some of the males had the characteristic ‘exclamation mark’ bands on the thorax although this was not always the case as indicated in the common name.
Male Red-eyed Damselflies staked out their territories on the lily-pads and were especially aggressive towards other males.
Blue-tails were also frequent as were Azures and Common Blues. Large Reds were present but not so common.
[Blue-tailed Damselfly, male]
[Azure Damselflies, pair]
[Common Blue Damselfly, male]
[Large Red Damselfly]
Altogether 10 species were seen including Banded Demoiselles, two Broad-bodied Chasers and a distant Downy Emerald.
[The pool at Berrington and the water-lily pads favoured by the Red-eyeds]