Promoting observation, free range exploration, sense of place and citizen science, through the field notes of a naturalist.

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Variable damselfly - on the wing now!

I had a hunch I'd seen variable damselfly (Coenagrion pulchellum) in a meadow close to the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal between Newport and Cwmbran. After a search of about 20 minutes I was rewarded, and thanks to some timely cloud cover the target female damselfly remained still for a good number of record shots.

I knew this species was present in the vice county but I'd never really made the effort to track it down and given that blue damselflies as a group can be tricky to identify it remained a personal enigma. The above distribution map is taken from the National Biodiversity Network Gateway website (thanks to NBN) giving a flavour of its lowland distribution. Its always worth checking with SEWBReC for possibility of more records though.

Field mark tip: Distinctive mercury mark to upper abdomen.

Field mark tip : Increasing amounts of blue on each segment from posterior upwards. Also note visible notch to each blue patch.

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