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BLUE TAILED DAMSELFLY

FEMALE

photo by Roger Sanderson

MALE

photo by Matthias Zepper

Blue Tailed Damselfly (Ischnura elegans)

The Blue Tail Damselfly is one of Britain's commonest damselflies. It is small, and is usually dark coloured with blue stripes on the abdomen and a blue tail., but females may be green, violet, brown, black or orange.

It is one of the first species to colonise a new pond and can be found wherever there is still water.They will tolerate some pollution and brackish water. It flies low amongst waterside plants even in dull weather and is sometimes seen well away from water.

Adults feed on small flying insects; the larvae on small aquatic invertebrates such as leeches and water snails.

They are seen from late in May to early September; the adults live for an average of 2 weeks.

The female cuts slits in aquatic plants to lay her eggs alone, sometimes late in the day.

The larvae live amongst the aquatic plants in shallow water and emerge the following spring.They climb a little way up the plant stems before emerging as adults.

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