• Barbara Copperthwaite

Flights of fancy


There is something magical about watching damselflies flying over a pond. They are so delicate that in flight they are often just needles of glimmering light in the sunshine, there one second, gone the next. They are not such strong flyers as dragonflies, but there is such grace to their fragile beauty.

As the numbers of Large Reds and Common Blues increase, they seem almost like clouds of shimmering colour darting in and out of the fronds of grasses on the edge of Henbury Pond. Adults only live for a couple of weeks, so they must make the most of this brief window to mate, and I was lucky enough to see several doing just that.

The male grasps the female’s neck and the two will often fly like this before settling onto a leaf. The female then lifts her abdomen, whilst the male drops his, so that they join together in a wheel or heart shape. It is in this position that they mate. Often the male keeps hold of the female until she has laid her eggs. It looks as though Henbury Pond will be getting lots of new damselflies, by the looks of these photographs.

#damselfly #largereddamselfly #commonblue #highburypark #kingsheath

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